August 22, 1998
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
MIKE SINGH: 6-3, 6-4, winner this afternoon over Yevgeny Kafelnikov, it is the 7th
straight time he has beaten the Russian. He reached his second career final here in New
Haven, reached the final back in '91 here losing to Korda. First question.
Q. Is it true that you needed balls to win that match?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I need everything. I almost cut my left one. (laughter).
Q. What was the problem with the shoulder at the beginning of the match?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I had problem this morning. I couldn't serve during the warmup and
the same one I had problems last years which I didn't play for two months, it is coming
back and then I had some painkillers and some special cream put on and during warmup with
him on the match, I felt big pain and then I didn't hit maybe five, six serves, and then I
called the trainer, but he couldn't help me. He said you try and you see. And then first
game was hurting, he broke me and then probably this creme kicked in and this painkillers
and after I didn't feel so much pain. But I reduced the speed of the serve and I was
hitting a lot of slice serves and I served the best of this tournament.
Q. Did you think at any time you might not be able to play?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I was thinking, you know, in Stuttgart last year I made a
stupid move. I went on the court against him and I play and then I retired and pulled me
because they didn't know what happened. They thought I was tanking, but I couldn't serve.
I got booed. In Key Biscayne I got booed; not my mistakes. I wanted to try a couple of
games if I be hurt, then I will stop, but probably this painkillers and cream was working
fine and I didn't feel pain. I would just feel pain with the serve not with the
groundstrokes. They were okay. But I was serving never better.
Q. Seemed like in the third game you hit a crosscourt forehand that loosened everything
up. You just went from there.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It was good. Actually I was good that -- I broke him straight away,
when he broke me then that next game I felt okay with my serve. I didn't force it. I was
just very smoothly and I was serving great and then since then I just -- but I played
great match. From the back I was very good running. I was doing a lot of running today. At
one point I was -- he made me run, drop shot, then back and then right and then left, and
crowd liked it. But I was tired. But it was good. I was really pleased with the way I
Q. How important it is for you to win tomorrow in the championship?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It would be great. I never won a tournament in the United States and
it is my second final here and especially after that Wimbledon final, I think it would be
great to win a tournament. This is a big tournament and I am playing good tennis and
before US Open it would be great to win one tournament.
Q. Does a day go by when you don't think back to the Wimbledon final? Have you -- had
you a day since then where you haven't at least it hasn't crossed your mind?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. Not yet.
Q. What do you think about the most?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think about backhand return onset point. I even think today I had
3-1 breakpoint and I hit poorly backhand return and then I said again like Wimbledon, that
is my first talk, but I said okay this is not Wimbledon this is New Haven and you better
concentrate about this one, otherwise you are going to lose it.
Q. Do you think Kafelnikov looked a little tired today?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is strange the way he plays. It is strange, very talented and
sometimes you think he doesn't try, but he tries and then you just think now, okay, now
you have him, but you don't have him then he comes with some great shots and he is very --
the way he plays he is very easy -- when you watch him, tennis looks very easy. He has a
great groundstrokes and great player and it is not easy to play him. But somehow I managed
always to play good against him.
Q. How do players like yourself manage to get through this time of year with the number
of matches that you are playing in a short time, the recovery time, any secret or any keys
to get through this time of year?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, I don't know. Some players like me and Kafelnikov, I mean, we
like to play a lot. Even he plays more than me. Some top guys they don't like to play
more. I feel okay. I am physically fine. I mean, I can run and so I don't mind to play.
Q. Are you to be able keep up the intensity when you are coming back?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is not easy to keep up, but I mean, -- it is fine.
Q. How are you a better player than a year ago? Do you feel you are a better player and
if so, how?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think I am. I think especially on the hard court I am playing -- my
volley has improved a lot. After Wimbledon I realized that I can volley and now I am
serving and volleying on hard court more than I served before. I am not really -- relying
on my serve, like I have to hit ace, like I have to win the point with my serve. I can
come in. I can finish with the volley. I can stay back. I realize that I can play
all-around game more.
Q. Do you deal with adversity better?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yes.
Q. Talk a little bit about how you came to the -- how you are able to deal with it
better these days than you are to be able before?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think Wimbledon, it hurt me a lot, but also it gave me a confidence
with my net game a lot, that I realize that on hard court this year I should be more
aggressive. Before maybe I was not using my serve. I have one of the best serves - maybe I
have the best serve in the game and not using it so much. I am trying to hit so hard and
not following, not hitting the volleys, but now today I hit a couple of very important
volleys when I needed and he -- using my shots. I was using before, but now I am maybe
playing smarter than before.
Q. You play with emotion of course. Does that help you more now than it used to? Maybe
it hurt you early on -- how do you --
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I am getting older. I am realizing a few things, but I think people,
they like it. I am an emotional guy, emotional player, that is how I play. That is all my
life is like that.
Q. Do you recall the '91 final with Korda and how different will tomorrow be?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is different. Almost forgot the way that match went. But I don't
think I played very good match. That was pretty easy final. I just have to not think about
final tomorrow, just have to think about it's a Sunday, it is a nice day, and go there and
have fun like I did today, yesterday, the other day, just try to win my first title in
Q. Is dealing with adversity more a question of using your tools like you mentioned
your service, is or more of a case of maturity?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Maybe I am more mature, for sure I am already ten years on the Tour,
I played those guys so many times. I know how to play, and -- but now the young guys no
more respect for us older guys, you know, because I am the one of the oldest guy on the
Tour, 19, 21 year old guys they just come beat you pretty badly and they go home, no
respect (laughter). But -- I am enjoying. I am more mature. I have more fun on the court.
Like before I was fighting with everybody. Now when I fight with the line people I have
Q. What is this miracle cream you are putting on?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I couldn't tell you otherwise -- (laughter).
Q. How is the shoulder now and what will you do tonight to keep it loose or prepare for
GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is bad luck I can't play golf today. It hurt me a lot. But I just
take it easy. I put more ice and a little massage and play some cards instead of golf.
Q. Is that a worry before the Open?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Hopefully not. I have a tournament next week, but I have to do my
exercise, I stopped to do my exercises which the doctor told me last year to do it.
Sometimes you know when you win the match, you are happy you don't want to do exercise.
When you lose the match, you are angry, you don't want to do exercise. So that way of
thinking is tough to do exercise, so I have to force myself to do those couple of
exercises which I have to do everyday for my shoulder and I have to think, you know, that
I am not 21 anymore. I am going to be 27 pretty soon and I have to do it if I want to play
another couple of years tennis because.
Q. What was the injury to the shoulder?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I have this some tear of this couple of tendon, muscles here and you
hit so many serves for ten years, it is like a good car, if you don't put oil in, you
know, the engine blows, I have to put some oil now and then so I can serve.
Q. Kafelnikov is a very good player. You have beaten him seven times in row. What is
the one thing if you had to look at it that allowed you to do that? That is pretty
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I just -- I like to play him, maybe he tries to play
too good against me. Once he said, okay, I try to play better shots like I am usually
playing. So I mean, it is just -- when I play him I just try to keep my game and I know
what he is going to do. I just -- I just like to play him. I don't know why. He just suits
Q. Do you think it has something to do with being lefthanded. He doesn't play
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Maybe. Probably because one of his best shots is backhand crosscourt
going to the backhand, it doesn't hurt me with that shot too much because I can run and
hit back. That is my advantage over him.
Q. Earlier in the week you said you were still trying to get your motivation back. It
was gradually coming. It looks as though it is completely back is that the case?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, like I said, I need to win matches. More matches I win, it is
going to be easier. So that is why it is going to help me if I can win the tournament
tomorrow it will help me 100%. If I lose then again, then I am going to start to think
final, lost again, never win the tournament in the States, and then again I am going to
think, Jesus, like Wimbledon and then so I better win, otherwise --
Q. Why is it important to win in the United States? Is it just for recognition so
people understand who you are a little bit?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think they know who I am, but it is just -- it is nice when you
finish your career to win tournaments everywhere. There is so many big tournaments here
and I never won it. Three times final in the States so it is nice to win. Anyway it is
nice to win. I don't like to lose anything, so and my Finals record is pretty bad. I
better win tomorrow.
Q. Your game is focused on your serve. With the shoulder problem, was it comforting to
you once you realized that even though you were taking something off that serve it was
still a factor?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think people they think all the time on my serve, my serve, you
take his serve, he is finished, but I don't think that. I know that I can play from the
back. I know that I am capable to play any shots, so it is not only my serve. Sometimes I
try to force my serve too much and today I just -- I was thinking okay it is hurting a
little bit you, just take the pace and it was -- I served never better, great serving. He
couldn't read my serve. It was great.
Q. Confidence in your all-around game, something that has come in the last couple of
years where you didn't have to rely on your big serve all the time?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I am always confident -- before I didn't have such a big serve, but I
just all those talks only serve, serve, serve; then I start to think the same. Then I
start to panic, if the guy hit my serve back if I am not serving good, what am I going to
do. But then I realize I didn't become second in the world being five years in Top 10 with
just serve. There are some other things which you have to be able to do, not only serve.
Q. Why is your serve -- what else besides the physical nature of you is your serve so
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I think you have to be born with it. It is a talent
because a lot of guys can hit harder than me, but I am the one who is hitting more aces
and aces when I need to hit ace. Just, you know, talent like everything else. You are born
with something. I was born to hit great serves.
Q. Where does Krajicek serve stack up with the top guys?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: He is one of the best server. I mean, in the fifth set in Wimbledon,
I never saw somebody serving like that. I couldn't touch the ball for, I don't know how
many games, 'til the game I broke him in the fifth set. I mean, not even close. I was
there, but I couldn't return. So I can rate him one of the Top three, four guys best
Q. You have a very good record against him?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, lately, yes. But it doesn't matter. Don't matter who I play, I
just have to think I can win tomorrow. I am playing very good tennis at the moment and
just have to have fun tomorrow try to win the tournament if it is possible.
MIKI SINGH: One more question.
Q. You were just saying about cars and oil. What model will you be at the moment?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: What model? Of the car or oil?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I can be pretty fast car. Porsche is fine.
Q. A new one or used one?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not new, not used something in between.
End of FastScripts