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September 3, 1996

Goran Ivanisevic


Q. Describe how you are playing right now and your thoughts. You said the other day you were so happy to be in the second week. You're moving on in the second week. What are your thoughts of advancing?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I say that if I reach the second week I can do a lot of damage in this tournament. That's what I'm doing now. I'm playing better and better every match. Whoever wants to beat me, the guy has to play unbelievable. I'm very happy that I reached the quarterfinals, first quarterfinals ever for me here. Now anything is possible.

Q. Can you talk about the possibility, obviously, we don't know what's going to happen in the Edberg/Henman match, but if it is Edberg, can you talk about the possibility of facing him with the crowd behind Edberg and every match could be his final match at the Open?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It's going to be tough if I face. He has to win first. I played him lot of times, know how I have to play to beat him. Has nothing to lose, he's very loose. He's like very relaxed. He has all the crowd behind him. He's really very pumped. If I play him, I have to keep my mind cool, I have to know that I have to go on the court and try to win.

Q. If you play Henman, can you tell us what you know about Henman and how you know him as a player?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Tim has improved a lot. I think he's the best English player since a long time. Very talented player coming through. He has a chance. Whoever wins today, it's going to be a tough match for him. If I play Tim, it's going to be another tough match. Doesn't matter, I don't think, who is going to win. I have two more days, you know, today and tomorrow to think, play who I going to play, how I going to play.

Q. It took Edberg a long time to get to like this tournament, this place. Is it the same for you or is it mostly just the surface itself that's taking you so long?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Everything. I mean, the country, the surface, now I start to like it more and more. Doesn't matter that I win, I just put -- I mean I have talking with myself, saying I have to make progress, there is no problem. Now I feel better, I play better. That's why I have best tournament ever here.

Q. Why do you say playing in the country? Is there anything different about playing in the States?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, Europeans, they don't like to come here too much. American guys don't like to stay in Europe, too much. It's the same thing.

Q. Goran, there's a couple of junior players from Croatia here. You've been watching them. Do you contribute money or help in any way to help those juniors travel around the world and play?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not me, but I play Davis Cup, which we give the money for the junior team. They travel around, they play.

Q. Have you been showing up at matches to support some of the juniors?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Sure. I watch every match. I mean, one guy yesterday had a good win. They're doing well. Two guys won, one last. We have a Wimbledon finalist junior from Croatia. Hopefully one of these guys can come through in a couple of years.

Q. It's unusual for a top professional player to spend valuable time, you don't see it much in America.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't see anybody go watch junior play from Top 10, only me. You don't see so many things Top 10 player doing, but I'm doing. It's okay. It's me, I like that. Coming from small country, it's nice to help. It's nice for them if they see me there, if I can help them. I didn't have that when I was young, so hopefully can I help them.

Q. Do the players see you there? Do they know you're in the stands?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Sure, sure. I was getting pretty excited there yesterday.

Q. You said now anything is possible. Are you talking about winning?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I talk about everything. I mean, now anything is possible; also winning. I can do now a lot of good things here. I'm in the quarters, playing very good tennis. Now is just luck and keep my mind. If I do that, it can be good. I don't know how good, but we see.

Q. What is so different about the second week? You seem like you have less confidence in getting to the second week than you do what do you in the second week.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I feel great. I never had this experience before, playing the second week, so I can't tell you. But now it's just great. The second week sometimes when I come to US Open -- today when I came, "What are you doing here?" Then I said, "Okay, you play." (laughter). Usually I was coming here to pick up my prize money and leave or something. It's coming to my mind and it's coming to my mind I can do well, even better than I did.

Q. Is it especially satisfying to win against a player that's being coached by your former coach?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, it's tough. First of all, it was tough to play. I was a little nervous. Bob knows me too good, tells me what to do, what to play. It's not easy. We were both a little nervous in the beginning, little easy mistakes. In the end, I came with the better shots when I needed them.

Q. You and Bob on good terms?


Q. Did you have an idea of what Bob was going to tell Medvedev as to how to play you? How did that work into your own strategy?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I mean, I think I improved my game from the back. He is very good guy. He can play very well from the back. You know, if you hit with him just left, right, it's tough. He's hitting everything back, take the ball early and come in. I knew when I played him in Hamburg, Bob told me not to play like that against him. He beat me easily. Then next week in Rome, I changed and I won. I gave him to control the point more, then he goes for the big shots and he's missing. I know how Bob told me to play him. Probably I knew how Bob told him to play me. It was a little mixed up there. Everybody knew how to play (laughter). Too many tactics going around, you know. Like tactical battle. I came through. I think I played a little better.

Q. By being here right now, did you have plans, did you in your mind have other plans to be doing something, vacationing this week?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Actually, to be honest, I believed this year I going to go to the second week, so I didn't plan anything. I was just believing -- previously I was hoping I was going to reach the second week. This year I said, "For sure, you going to reach the second week." Now I'm in the second week, don't have any plans. I'm here, so after this tournament I have preparation for Davis Cup, which is important for us. I'll just continue in this tournament. I can do well here. So we'll see.

Q. Why did you feel that way coming in after all the problems you've had?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I just felt I just put too much pressure on myself Wimbledon this year, when all the guys lost. Then I saw my chance there. Now, this, that, nobody left. I mean Sampras loss, pretty open. All these little pressures. I can't really relax. I said, "Maybe you going to have a chance in the US Open. You never play good, lost twice in the first round. This is your chance, you're going to do well and go for it. " I'm relaxed, going for the shots.

Q. Goran, with Sampras and Philippoussis playing tonight, a lot of talk about the big service. Would you rate the big servers, throw yourself in there?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: The people, when they talk about me and Mark, serving, serving. I tell you, it's not easy to serve so hard and serve aces when you're 15-40 down, 30-40. People think, "It's easy for him, he throws the ball and serve ace." It takes a lot of energy, takes a lot of guts. You have to know how to serve. I mean, Mark is great player and he's going to be tough for Pete tonight, especially beating him in the Australian Open.

Q. Who are the best servers on the Tour?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Best servers? I think Mark, Pete, Stich, Boris, and Krajicek.

Q. Ivanisevic?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Sure. I'm leading there.

Q. Goran, today we watched the somewhat new Medvedev out there now who can attack the net and volley much better than he used to a year or two ago. What do you think of the way he's improved his game? Is he going to be back in the Top 10?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, he definitely has potential. He was there. He lacked a little confident. I think with Bob, he's going to go back to Top 10 because he deserves to be in Top 10. He's too good player to be, what, 36 now. I think he's going to go back. He has tough year, changing the coaches. Now I think with Bob, if he stays there, if he works, I think next year he's going to have good year.

Q. How do you rate his volleying ability?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He's an all-around player. He played aggressively before also on the clay, hardcourt. Then this year, when you lack confident, you don't go for the shots, don't come in. He won the tournament last week, got loose a little bit, he's playing much better. His game is good. I think next year he's going to be very dangerous.

Q. Are you playing with the greatest confidence now than at any time during your career?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah. I got my confidence back. I play not with only confidence, I believe I can do well here, first time in my life I believe I can do really well. That also helps me.

Q. You were very tense today throughout the match. When did you realize you were going to come out the winner?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, I was not -- a couple conversations with some stupid things. I knew I was going to win. I just had the feeling. I didn't get nervous or uptight or anything. I just had a good feeling I going to win, and I won.

Q. Were you fined for your comments to linesman after your last match?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. I said in Croatian (laughter).

Q. They have a book.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He didn't hear because the people, after the match, everybody shouting. I picked a good time, you know, it was too loud.

End of FastScripts...

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