August 30, 1996
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q. Goran, will you go back in your mind to the first of this year when you were playing pretty phenomenal tennis. Do you feel that right now you're close to playing that well?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Yeah, I'm close. But it's still -- today I was struggling in the beginning a little bit. It's coming. This is different tournament, this is Grand Slam. I think it's good to have a couple of struggle matches, and then I think you play better and better. I think it might come.
Q. What's lacking?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Pardon?
Q. What's missing?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: It's missing that I just start playing a little bit slower. The first round I start slow. Today I was a little bit missing, a lot of unforced errors. I should start aggressive from the first point, it's missing. This is different tournament. I always play bad here. I want to make my goal to reach the second week so I have one more round. If I can get there, then I think I'm going to play much better.
Q. Goran, do you have any theory on why you've had troubles here before?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Because I had trouble on the plane coming here, you know. When I took the plane from Europe to come to the States, I was already crying, where I'm going. As soon as you do that, you forget summer, forget the hardcourt, forget States, everything. Then the change in the Key Biscayne final, I broke through, finally I start to believe I can play on hardcourt, maybe I can play better on hardcourt than on clay. I proved that, have good results, play final in Indianapolis, Cincinnati. I can play. Now I start to like here, don't make any more problems.
Q. Did you ever determine what caused your neck to stiffen up at Key Biscayne?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: No idea.
Q. Sleep wrong?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Maybe, maybe. Maybe I slept wrong. Maybe I was tired. Didn't have massage before. Maybe my body was too tight.
Q. Change your sleeping habits at all?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: No, I sleep the same.
Q. Goran is Father Joseph still with you?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: No, he's back home.
Q. Can you tell us what happened in the first set tiebreaker when the lines person ran up to the chair and you got upset about it?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Yeah. Say something to the other lady, something nice probably. She didn't hear it. The other one asks, "What is your problem?" "I didn't say to you." She still report me.
Q. Goran, you also have not played well as Indian Wells. Which tournament would you say you play worse, this one or there?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Always something the same, similar. I mean, last year I played good, but I was not lucky. I twist my ankle. Who knows. It was pretty much the same thing.
Q. What was it you said to the lines woman?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: You don't want to know (laughter).
Q. Yes, I do.
GORAN IVANESEVIC: No, I don't know. Ask supervisor, he has a list.
Q. Sometimes when that happens, your concentration wanders off the match. Today, even though you lost the tiebreaker 7-1, your concentration was very good, pulled it right back together. What happens when you're able to do that?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: It's coming this year. I'm able to when I lose the first set I'm still able to be in the match. Especially this tournament I want to do so well. I don't want to do well, I want to reach the second week, first time in my life. I just concentrate. I want to be in the second week so badly. If I have to stay five hours on the court, I'll do it. I have to fight for every point, doesn't matter who I play. That's what I decide, to fight, fight, till next week. Next week, if I'm there, anything can happen.
Q. You had a fall today. Did you hurt yourself?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: I didn't hurt, but then I started to cramp. I cramp at 5-3, cramping the last game. I was hoping to put the first serves in. Every time I hit my backhand, I start to cramp.
Q. Goran, your best weapon is your serve. What other part of your game do you think you should work on in order to make it into the finals here?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: I think my groundstrokes are pretty good. I think today I was going a lot for the winners, but with those winners, if they go in, like in Key Biscayne, then it's going to be very dangerous.
Q. Goran, do you think that your serve is so strong that you don't concentrate early in the match enough on returning serve, thinking that, "I'll just win my serve, he'll make a mistake, I'll get my break someplace along the way"?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: No, it's opposite. I have a good serve, then I don't concentrate on my serve. I do a lot of mistakes, a lot of double-faults, especially in the beginning when I should concentrate on my serves in the first set when I'm still not into the match. I should concentrate more on my serve.
Q. I'm talking about service returns.
GORAN IVANESEVIC: When I don't win my serves easy, I can't concentrate on my returns. I'm getting too panicked, don't know what to do, how I going to return. Today, for example, I start to serve better, then I start to return better. It's always going like that.
Q. Draper felt that you were very impressive today, that you didn't ever lose your serve. Does that get you into kind of a positive mental outlook for the rest of the week?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Sure. When you don't lose your serve, two weeks. Last breakpoint when I went for the big serve, it's nice when you don't lose your serve. I can keep my serve like that, I can return easy, play easier.
Q. Goran, you mentioned coming out and being more aggressive after losing the first set. What are you going to try to do when you say being more aggressive? Is that going for it more? Coming more to the net?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: You have to mix sometimes. Instead of first serve, try to do a little slower serve, come in. Today I hit a couple times second serve to his backhand, came in. I didn't do enough. Just come in. It's not easy to pass, especially on big points.
Q. Is it a confidence booster to drop the first set in the last two matches and win?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Yes. I'm confident to play, happy to play. It's a little bit hot. I mean, I feel something I can do well here, so we'll see how it goes.
Q. You like the fact that everyone's talking about Sampras and Agassi; not too many people are really talking about you?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: That's great. I love it. They talk about me that I never pass the first week here, when they actually talk about me. Maybe they're going to talk, you know. They didn't talk '92 in Wimbledon, but suddenly I had my first press conference quarterfinals. If they don't talk, I'm happy.
Q. What have you done differently this year to prepare for this open, considering your --
GORAN IVANESEVIC: I just believe I can do well. Before I didn't believe I could do well, making problem in the States. I know I can play good on hardcourts, beat some good players on hardcourts. I believe I can do well here.
Q. Just mentally?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: Just mentally.
Q. You weren't at the press conference last week where the ATP criticized the USTA for not following the rankings. How do you feel about that issue?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: I was not at the press conference, but I think my opinion, they should have one ranking, doesn't matter Wimbledon. I think ATP should have one -- they should go with the one ranking, ATP ranking. I shouldn't be No. 4 seed. It should be No. 6, I'm 6 ranked. If you are No. 10, you should be No. 10. Doesn't matter if it's Wimbledon, French, Australian Open, here. That's why the ITF, they can do whatever they want. They don't care about ATP rankings, they don't care what we play whole year and make the points. Grand Slams, they do whatever they want.
Q. Do you ever see yourself refusing to play a Grand Slam if that particular Grand Slam decides not to follow the rankings in the future?
GORAN IVANESEVIC: I mean, I'm not going to be the only one, "Hey, guys, I'm not playing." "Okay, go home." If a lot of guys, then I can. If we sit all together and we decide not to play, then we don't play. It's okay, you know, everybody happy now. Tournament started. Nobody's complaining anymore.
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