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August 25, 1997

Goran Ivanisevic

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Goran, your first serve percentage was very low today. What happened?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not only serve; all my game. Everything is not -- I'm not there, so you cannot win the matches when you play like that.

Q. Can you explain it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Just been like last four months, everybody goes through tough times. At this moment, you know, I am ranked No. 4, but I'm playing like I'm ranked No. 50 or 100. When you go on the court like that, you can expect to lose against a guy like him. But when I play like No. 4, then there's no way he can win. But today I played like ranked No. 50 or 100 and then he can beat me.

Q. Is there anything you would think about to take a break? Do you need more matches, more practice work off the court?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: More matches I do not need. It's not a question of matches, it's not a question of practice. It just comes a time that you -- I am practice, I am trying hard, but it just comes a time, you know, I'm not hungry a hundred percent. I'm playing the tennis. I play because I'm here, not because I want to play. It's a tough time. But then I have to face, you know. Hopefully I can get through that as fast as I can. I was going through that time in '95 for a couple of months, I couldn't win a match. Then suddenly I had a great '96 year. Now is tough time for me. Now I can just try not to think about tennis, do something else, maybe more physical training. Then when I'm hungry to play tennis, then I should be fit and ready to play again.

Q. Is it harder to go through a period like this when you had a year like last year?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's not easy. It's very frustrating when you lose first round. I lost first round French Open, second round Wimbledon, first round here. It's terrible. Then I lose to a guy, I mean, he is a good player, but he is -- no way I can lose to him if I play normal tennis. So it's not easy, you know, it hurts a lot. You know, tennis is tough. You travel all year. You're alone there. You cannot play all year good. Now is tough period for me. Hopefully I can go over that as fast as I can. If not, then it's going to come one day. I cannot play like this all the time.

Q. How much time do you expect to take off now?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: First I have to play doubles here, then when I finish my doubles, there's no tournaments before Basel starts. I didn't qualify for the Grand Slam Cup. So first tournament there is Basel, so it's a long, long time before the tournament.

Q. You said this has been going on for four months. Is working with a sports psychologist an option for you?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: '95 I didn't work with anybody, so why should I work now? The question is inside me. You know, ten years on The Tour, sometimes you lose that hungriness for the tennis. You are there, but you're not 100 percent there. Everybody knows how to play tennis. Doesn't matter if you're ranked 1 or 101. If you're not there that day, they're going to take the chance and beat you.

Q. Would it be something you work and talk out with yourself or something you work out for yourself?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: We talk a lot. I have to solve it myself, you know. I know how is it. I've been through this thing. It's not easy, you know. It's tough to motivate yourself, but I have to. I'm still young. Still hopefully a lot of years in front of me which I can play good tennis. I'm already ten years on The Tour. Why throw it away? So I think it's going to be good.

Q. When you came back before, refreshed, that was when you started working with Gregor, wasn't it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Actually I started playing good in Grand Slam Cup '95. I played bad indoor season. I came there without pressure. I started from there, everything started to go well. Then last year. Also this year I had a great first couple of months, then I broke my finger. Since then, after six weeks which I was out, then I lost that. In one way I was happy that I broke the finger, to take some time off. One way was good, another way was bad. I was wishing that something happens to me. Then you cannot expect any big results.

Q. Do you think there should be a proper closed season? You feel you need to take a break every couple of years. Do you think there should be a break?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: This year gives us -- I mean, I don't know finishing early, then you give you one and a half months off. It's tough. Guys like to play. All the guys are young, 20, 19, so they need to play. I'm one of the oldest guys on The Tour now, 25 (laughter). So, I mean, this is my life, and I like to play. Now at this time I need to change something.

Q. Will you ask for a wildcard in Basel?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. It's a long way. I'm still in New York. I don't know what I going to do. First I'm going to live today. Then I still have to play doubles, maybe mixed, just to have fun.

Q. Is it something off the court in terms of the hunger for tennis, could you feel the love of the game slipping way away or is it something you woke up and it's, "I'm not hungry"?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Everything was fine today 5-3. I'm not trying to push enough. When I was in the trouble 5-4 and he served for the match, then I pushed a bit, broke. Then again I stop. I can push for a couple of games, but then always is the barrier that is stopping me, something is stopping. I could win today, maybe another round, but that was it. I knew I was not ready to do anything bigger the way I feel at the moment. Everybody goes through these tough times. Sergi was two years. He was 18 in the world. Now he's 605, 600. Some days you want to win so badly, then you cannot win. You have to go through these times. Not something bad. We're all human beings and this happens.

End of FastScripts….

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