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December 7, 1996

Goran Ivanisevic


Q. Goran, I'm not that familiar with the history here. How often have you come back from two sets down?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Last time was Olympic Games, '92.

Q. No, Corretja.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: You have to ask them (laughter).

Q. Well, you're down two sets to Love. Did you think you had a chance against him?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, chance. I thought I had a chance. I did not feel so well. I was pretty tired, breathing pretty heavily. Then I start to have more fun, you know. I thought, "Okay, I don't care, I just play the third set." I fight and try to finish the last match, you know, in the best way, finish the year. Then, you know, a little fun, a little talking, a little joking. Then I broke him 6-3. Early break in the fourth. Then I start to feel better, I start to breathe better, I play better and better. Then I won the set pretty easy, what helped me. The fifth set, me and him were pretty tight, you know, on those breakpoints. Nobody want to hit the ball. A couple of bad calls, you know, foot fault. Maybe I made the foot fault, but I made on that game, I make every game. They call me when it's most important. But I didn't believe I could come back.

Q. You didn't?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I didn't. When I won the third set, when I broke him the first game of the fourth, then I started to believe. Then I knew I was going to win the fourth set. Then the fifth set, anything is possible.

Q. Goran, you have last year played so well here, then you had a marvelous start to this year, had that lapse in the middle, then came back strongly. How is it that you've brought yourself back up to this fine form again?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, since US Open I am playing good tennis. Okay, at the beginning of the season, now at the end of the year I lost to Martin, then to Korda, then Siemerink, Paris was the only bad tournament I play. Moscow I play good, Hannover I play well, and here. I mean, I just like to play indoors. It's fun to play, plus this court is pretty fast, but all other indoor courts are pretty slow, which is okay for me. I feel pretty good also from the back. But now it's just I'm playing with my reserve, I'm on reserve, you know. Today I got all the last bit of energy for myself, and I made it. Hopefully I can manage tomorrow to survive three, four, five sets, then I can take a couple of days off.

Q. Goran, when you were down two sets to Love, did it at all cross your mind as the defending champion, "I'm not going to let this go without a fight"?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. I had in my mind to fight. I didn't want to give him any free points. I was pretty tired in the second set. Then he start to -- he was pretty relaxed, laughing and smiling. You know, he thought he's already in the final, you know. I said to myself, "You going to have to play a little more to be in the final." So, you know, but then he tried to do -- I didn't know what he was trying to do. He wanted to hit ace from every serve, first, second, third. He was serving so many double-faults. Instead of putting the second serve in and try to make me run, for sure he will win, but he tried to hit every second serve. The games were going pretty fast. So many double-faults, I took the chance, broke him, and that helped me a lot.

Q. Goran, now looking ahead to the final, what are your thoughts playing Boris in Munich in the final?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's not going to be easy, I know. I going to have six, seven people cheering for me, plus the ten Croatians up there. That's going to be all against 14,000, 15,000 Germans. But it's okay. I know he's playing good tennis, I'm playing good tennis. We've played before. We've had great matches. It's going to be another good match. I don't know who's going to win.

Q. Yesterday Courier said that to get into a final against Becker in Munich with the 15,000 is what you play for. Is that how you feel? Are you kind of relishing the fact of getting into a final like that in the lion's den?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's big motivation to play. It gives me extra motive to play him in the final. I get more pumped when I see 15,000 guys cheering against me, then I hit two aces in a row. That's nice, such a great feeling. There's going to be a lot of aces tomorrow. They're not going to like it, but hopefully I can beat Boris in front of 15,000 people. It's going to be very nice end of season.

Q. Win or lose tomorrow, you're going to leave with a nice lot of prize money. What are you going to buy your father for Christmas?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I already bought him a present. First I think I have to buy something for the referee because Monday after the morning practice, I went to look for referee here. I wanted to pull out from the tournament. I couldn't find the referee here.

Q. Why?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He was not here.

Q. Why did you want to pull out?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's a secret. I didn't feel well. I didn't have any desire, energy to play. So I went to the hotel, I cooled down a little bit. I said, "Okay, I go for this official dinner, tomorrow is the next day, you never know." You see now I'm in the final. Maybe I should give him some nice present, you know.

Q. Have you ever made such a big hole in a tennis racquet as you did there in the final set there?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I didn't make any hole. My racquet was nice. It breaks pretty nicely, these Head racquets. I mean, when you come from two sets to love down, you fight back. Fifth set very tight, then he called me the foot fault. Even if I do the foot fault, I serve the same on 15-Love, first set, fifth set, he called me the foot fault. I was so -- all my energy went out. After that, I was pretty quiet, you know. When I served for the match, another foot fault, but I didn't break anything.

Q. Goran, are you serious that Monday you were thinking of pulling out? Were you ill?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I was very sick. I was ill. I had fever even when I played Enqvist -- no, Tillstrom. My arm was hurting. I was pretty dead, mentally tired. Then I was thinking a lot of things. No sense to play since I fight all day to get here, why not take $100,000 and go? Then I play Enqvist -- Tillstrom. Pretty quick. Gave me some presents, I played okay. Slowly, slowly, you know, I play better and better. Yesterday was okay, and today I was tired. But again I managed to win and now I'm in the final. I have to play well tomorrow, from all this unbelievable story now I'm in the final.

Q. Perhaps you will win the Grand Slam Cup for the second time tomorrow, but you haven't won a Grand Slam yet. Are you satisfied with this year?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I am. I mean, it was my best year till now. I had a chance to win a Grand Slam, maybe the best chance was US Open. Pete was pretty tired in the fourth set. I had him there. If I would have win the fourth set, I for sure would have won the fifth. You never know what can happen in the final. Again, a couple points, I lost the match. I always try to win one. Hopefully I try to win. Next year four Grand Slams, the next year another four, then another four. Gomez won when he was 28. Never too late for me.

End of FastScripts….

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