April 24, 1996
MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Q. So, Goran, you had still this problem with the hay fever?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, I didn't have any problems. I just had a problem that I'm not well prepared yet on the clay. I'm not able to play long points. I have to finish the points earlier. If everything goes in, I can win. If I want to win tough matches, I have to run more, which I'm unable to do it at the moment. Hopefully with more practice and a couple more matches, that will come.
Q. When did you start practicing on clay? You were sick the week of Barcelona.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: That was bad because I started physically to work after Davis Cup. Everything went fine, then I got food poisoning, three days, put me back even worse than I was before. Since then I didn't -- I came here not well prepared, just a couple of practice, a couple of matches of practice on the high level, and this is different tennis. Still at the moment my legs are not ready to run a hundred percent. With him, you know, I have to run. I have to put a couple of balls in. Plus today when I could come back, a couple of breakpoints went long, a couple of centimeters. But to beat him, I am still not ready. The first match, still I'm not physically a hundred percent.
Q. You are not really surprised; you were not expecting to go really far in the tournament?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, I don't like to lose, but I'm -- I didn't -- I mean, I didn't knew I was going to play like this. It just comes. I'm not going to put myself down now because there's still a lot of tournaments. Last year I played this part good and then Roland Garros I lost first round. I'd rather opposite.
Q. You can reverse it?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah. Still a lot of tournaments, still time for me to practice, just switch. Because this is clay, I have to work for every point.
Q. What are you going to do now, play as many matches as you can or practice a lot from now till Roland Garros?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I have to decide with my coach to practice here or to try to play next week in Munich. I just need a couple of days' practice, then I need a couple more matches, need to win a few matches on clay. I'm not going to do it only with practice, like five hours practice. Still I have to put this practice into the match. But still, I mean, I need a little more physical work on clay to run more.
Q. What's the key to adapting to playing on clay?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I have to be fit. I'm not fit at the moment. That's the biggest key, in my case. If I'm fit, I know I can run, I can get winners. I just have to hit the winners to win the point. To play long rallies, I'm not ready yet. So for me that at the moment is to get fit, like I was on the hard court, to stay back, try to rally, then I'm not afraid.
Q. Do you feel if you're moving well, you're going to play well?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Sure.
Q. And you are not used to lose the first match in a tournament?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I'm not used this year, but what can you do? It had to come. Better to come now than on the big tournaments. That's life. He's a good player anyway. When I'm playing good, a hundred percent, I would have a tough time to beat him, so. It's just time to practice, practice, and go on.
Q. But it will not affect your confidence?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: No. I have enough confidence. Only if I put myself down. It's not the end of the world I lost first round. Claycourt season just started. Those guys already a couple of weeks on the clay, playing, practicing. I just have a couple of days here with the good players. It's a different thing.
Q. Goran, Muster said in Barcelona it is more easy for an American player to be in the top of the ranking than a European player. How do you agree with that?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I think it's the same. If you play good, doesn't matter where you coming from.
Q. He said because of the clay, because of the clay tournaments in Europe, you don't have the possibility as the Americans every week on hard.
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Even if you are European on the clay, you have to play good on clay, so it's same thing, doesn't matter. You can be from Japan, doesn't matter. European, Asian, Americans, the same.
Q. Goran, for you is it match play that's important or practice to get yourself ready on clay?
GORAN IVANISEVIC: Of course I have to get fit, and when I'm fit, even in the match I get more confident and I can run more. It's important to run, to be fit on the clay. You let the other opponent to see you fit, and you can stay with him. That's a problem at the moment with me, so as soon as I get fitter, better for me.
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