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November 15, 1993

Goran Ivanisevic


Q. How do you explain your chances and your performance after the U.S. Open?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: (inaudible) I was working very hard before U.S. Open and now the year, I just couldn't win the match. Then after U.S. Open, I just started to win. You get confidence when you win. And then I won a couple of matches. Everything started in Vienna. (inaudible) I had almost no chance and took the wildcard, came here and I played good, won a tournament, went to Stockholm; I had to defend a lot of points, two matchpoints down, won a tournament and after I played final, but I almost won a tournament, but after that, I knew I played good tennis. And that I just have to concentrate and try to play good in Paris and I play every match great except first round. I was match point down again, but I won the match and I beat like four top players in a row.

Q. Did you watch last Saturday, did you (inaudible)

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I went to Cinema. I sleep and when Pete play I went to Cinema. So I didn't watch it.

Q. You are lucky because matchpoint in one tournament; matchpoint in another tournament, then Becker loses to Gustafsson, Sampras wins against Pioline

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Luck, I don't know, the way I played the last couple of months I think I deserve it. I really played good. I really won a lot of matches and --

Q. Is it more important than anybody else that the surface is quick, how do you think it is this year?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Slower than last year, but it is quick enough.

Q. Are you happy about your -- I mean, your group is probably the strongest, but I mean you have good records with all of them?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I have a good record with Pete, with Stefan and Sergi.

Q. So you are the favorite of the group; do you consider (inaudible)--

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Not a favorite, but I mean --

Q. You have confidence?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: (inaudible) I mean I am going to start to play with Pete on Wednesday and (inaudible), I mean every match is going to be nice to play; it is going to be very exciting to play. It is going to be -- it doesn't matter what kind of record I have against players. It is nice to be here and it is going to be nice to win.

Q. But you have won the last two matches against Pete?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I won -- not last couple of matches -- (inaudible).

Q. What is it with Pete Sampras (inaudible)--

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think last four, five times I beat him, but he is No. 1 player in the world. He is not easy to beat (inaudible) but I mean, he doesn't like to play lefty. It would be interesting match. He did me a favor last week beating everybody there, so maybe actually I will beat him now. It was a gift (inaudible).

Q. Bruguera?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He had a great year. He deserve to be here, but I don't think that it is his court. But he has to play again everybody, I mean, they have to take it serious, everybody and try to beat him.

Q. (inaudible)

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It was good score against him last couple of times. I beat him pretty well. He had a great match. I was lucky and won the match, so I had think it is going to be another great match. We will see who is going to win.

Q. Looking back at your performance last year and your last couple of weeks, you seem extremely confident?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, very confident. Playing great tennis again; winning a lot. I mean, I am rely sure on my serve. I am not afraid of some shots. They are just coming up -- (inaudible) coming off the racket. I am very happy to be here and looking forward to play matches.

Q. If Pete Sampras didn't beat Pioline you wouldn't be here, did you say thank you to Pete Sampras after the final?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I am going to say thanks Wednesday to him when we play.

Q. How do you explain your success?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know, already when I came to Antwerp I was very tired and I was mentally tired and physically, but my first two opponents, they were not too strong to beat. But Pioline is a good player, so I just couldn't get -- I was like-- it is like water balloon. It-- just all the pressure, all five weeks to play, six weeks in a row, pressure and pressure and you play good for 15 matches, every time like that, just somebody just put a needle and it is like an explosion and you can't explain. You can't concentrate. I mean, I had to play first set because even if I was in first set, I think I haven't any chance to win the match because I was completely dead.

Q. When did you think you had a good chance to come to Frankfurt?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I didn't think-- I won Vienna and final in Stockholm; I almost defend all the points. Then they tell me you have to win Paris -- (inaudible) I won the Paris and all the questions, now you have to win this now. Then I start to think before I didn't think and then I start to count everyday; see if he wins or he lose then I just-- I was a mathematician everyday. I was calculating, thinking, and then you can't play like that. Good thing that I didn't calculate before I play; otherwise no chance I would win a tournament. I was lucky.

Q. Are you happy to be here


Q. Why?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is just fun.

Q. Are you happy to be here

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Very happy. I have to thank Pete but also thanks to myself because I really played great three weeks in a row and really I think deserved to be here.

Q. Do you think you might have played all of your (inaudible)

GORAN IVANISEVIC: What do you mean? Can't (inaudible).

Q. Do you think you might have peaked, played all your good matches before coming here?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: What do you mean? No, I think I still have something left.

Q. This morning we had a tennis forum held by the ATP journalists and Luke Jensen was there; he was talking about rock and roll tennis and how tennis should be made much more open; much more lively and get the public much more enthusiastic, rock bands on stage, fire works; things like that. Is that a good idea?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Rock and roll tennis?

Q. Yeah, will it make it much more open and much more lively?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Like what, bringing people to the court.

Q. Introduce the players with pop music and flashes and lasers, things like that?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That is okay for some tournament, but not every tournament. I think tennis is good like it is now. I don't think you have to make a show from the tennis. If you want to go to Hollywood; then you can make that. But this is tennis. This is not rock and roll, shows, lasers, it is okay, sometimes. Sometimes you have these things, but this is not show business. It is tennis.

Q. He was saying it is the entertainment business; not just tennis?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, but he is playing different. I mean, he thinks different. I don't think that is a good idea. He is playing more rock and roll type, so he wants it like that, but I don't think it is good. I don't think (inaudible) don't think it is going to help tennis.

Q. Changing the subject. Did you go to Drazen Petrovic's funeral?


Q. Did you play tournaments each side of the funeral -- exactly when was it because it was --

GORAN IVANISEVIC: That was during Queens, I lost the Queens; then I went to Zagreb and I came home.

Q. Goran, on the subject of the forum, obviously a lot of people think that tennis has got to make a change a little bit, or personalities of the players-- personality of the players got to come through. What is your feeling, I mean, is it possible to make the tennis more interesting? Is it possible that players because of the competition now can actually show their personality more than they do or is it very hard?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is tough. I don't think the people in these big tournaments is all sold out every week and the people enjoy, if you have play final, big tournament not going to make a clown of yourself to make people happy. I want to win the tournament. That is what happened in Paris. They start whistling to me because I hit a lot of aces. I don't want to be a nice guy, okay, now, I am going to make sure a little bit serve less aces and be an idiot on the court and-- to make them happy. I don't care they pay the tickets and I play three sets too fast. They are going to come anyway next year, they are going to come always. So I don't think you have to change anything. You have exhibitions, they want the funny thing is -- (inaudible). Not on the final. Maybe in exhibition.

Q. What were you upset about?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is stupid because they paid the ticket and it they want five sets they want something different, slower, but it is not my problem.

Q. Is this a sign of the times now, the public catching up to the fact that they are getting a little bit fed up with having no rallies in the tennis match?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think clay court season is coming so they can watch a little tennis.

Q. When were you sure in Antwerp that you were going to be here?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: About Saturday like 11:00, 11:15.

Q. In the morning?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: No, in the evening when Pioline lost. Then I was very sure that I am going to be here.

Q. You were in your room?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I was watching last set in my room.

Q. Goran, can you explain a little bit about your friendship with Marc Rosset and how do you see his development now?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think I am very happy because he is my best friend on the tour and (inaudible) he start a year very bad and he really proved that I know he can be-- I think he can be even better, but I think he didn't believe it. Now he is 16. He won the tournament and very happy for him. I think now he has to work even more to be top 10, if he wants. I think he can be -- he can play tough tennis.

Q. Do you see a comparison with Marc when you were younger; you were not that stable; suddenly you realized I am able to beat these guys; then you --

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think, I don't know, I mean you cannot judge myself with him. I am different maybe than him. He has to know that he is able to be top 10. I know that he can be, but he has to know. He has to want it.

Q. You are planning to play a lot of doubles together?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, my ranking is dropping now, but I think we are going to play a lot of doubles.

Q. Are you going out with Marc?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: We go to dinners. We hang out together,.

Q. Goran you made up your schedule are you going to play doubles with anybody?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, Rosset next year, a lot of doubles.

Q. What do you think about your group

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think my group is stronger than the other one. I mean, Pete, Stefan and Sergi, it is a very strong group. I have a good record against Pete, good record against Stefan, Sergi, I mean, never play indoors, but now, I am very happy, but now I have to start to play like I play in Paris. I have to take one match at a time and try to play good. I mean, it is not easy to beat anybody here, but I have to be mentally strong and try to beat everybody.

Q. Sampras going to have to play (inaudible)?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He is No. 1. It is always tough to beat No. 1 player in the world, but he doesn't like to play me. He doesn't like to play lefties. He has a problem with the lefties. So we will see. I mean, last times I beat him and he has to think how to play me. I know how to play him.

Q. Stefan Edberg?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Also last five times I beat him. I Paris I was lucky, I won the match. They were all close matches. It is going to be who is going to be stronger, having a little bit luck and what is going to happen, I don't know. I cannot say. I cannot judge the match now. We are going to see when we are going to play.

Q. Bruguera?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't think that is his surface, but you have got to take him serious. (inaudible) you just concentrate with him like I am going to concentrate with Pete to beat him.

Q. Do you remember last year the semifinal against Boris Becker?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, it was one of the best match ever in tennis and good match, I lost that match, (inaudible) this is a new year, so we will see what is going to happen.

Q. (inaudible)

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He is not here this year. I am strong enough. I don't want to think about last year. This is now and I want to think about this year.

Q. Boris Becker a lot of (inaudible) maybe the coach for --

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Same coach, little bit sorry because he is not here. It is bad for Germany and I think it is bad for the tennis because he is a great player and he is not here. It is bad luck (inaudible).

Q. Are you still with Tiriac.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Ion Tiriac is my manager. One year ago Boris was with him now it is finished but I am still with Ion and we are doing great. I like it.

Q. What do you think about the situation between Ion and Boris

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is not my business.

Q. Are you happy to be here?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is nice to be here. I like Germany. The people, they understand tennis and they like I like to play here. I always play good in Germany.

Q. Do you follow the situation in your country

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, I am tired of these questions. The situation is bad and I don't know when it is going to stop. What can you do? I hope for those people in Croatia and people who are fighting, they end it very soon, because nobody is going to win -- a lot of people are dying and people, they have nothing to eat there and it is a really bad situation. I mean, I am going to help my country every time when I can because I am Croatian and I am proud to be Croatian.

Q. Can you do anything --

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I try to talk about Croatia. I try to represent, playing here, winning for Croatia. If I could help, I would help any time.

Q. (inaudible)you are enjoying basketball?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I am interested in every sport. I like basketball and football a lot.

Q. You lost two friends?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: He was my good friend and it was really bad and he died. Drazen was one of the best players in the world. He played in the NBA and very tough that happened during Wimbledon. It was tough to play. (inaudible).

Q. (inaudible)

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I am playing very good at the moment. The year is going to (inaudible) finish this week and I have to keep practicing and be mentally strong and try to start next year, fit and good.

Q. Were you upset about the crowd's reaction in Paris

GORAN IVANISEVIC: They don't only criticize me, but if you see the list of the (inaudible) the top is Pete Sampras. Every time, they complain when I am serving. It is not only me serving. A lot of players are serving a lot of aces.

Q. Are you concerned about what the fans like?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't care what they like. I am professional so I do my job and what I like to do -- if they want to watch tennis slowly, watch clay court.

Q. Are you playing some golf?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I am starting. I am taking some golf lessons when I go to states; I always play (inaudible).

Q. You enjoy golf

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is fun to play. Especially if you know how to play (inaudible). It is relaxing.

Q. Do you agree when people say that players throwing rackets is sometimes good for tennis?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think people, they like when somebody is -- I mean, not when you break the racket, but when you are throwing the racket; talking to the people and talking to the umpire, I think it is like two point players. (inaudible).

Q. Throwing rackets is showing emotion from the players. Do you think that they should loosen the rule on that?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, because they throw the racket too much they give you warning and then penalty point; then you are out.

Q. You think it is too severe?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, I mean, depends, sometime they give you warning for nothing. Sometimes you can throw the racket and he can warn you a couple of times before he gives you the real warning.

Q. (inaudible) throwing the racket is kind of a --

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is fun. I mean, fun for-- you can relax a little bit and fun for everybody.

Q. So you think maybe that -- (inaudible)

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think it is okay like this.

Q. (inaudible)

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I don't know. I don't think they are going to be like that because the guys can serve a lot of aces. You have Pete, you have Michael, Pete and Michael, myself and I mean, all the guys, they can serve aces, but I mean, I am not a leading guy in aces. First one is Pete - like 100, 150 more aces than I have. So it (inaudible) long match and it is not my fault that day I served great. It is not easy always to serve good. You have to have good concentration to serve for three sets good. It wasn't easy.

Q. The Germans know something more about tennis (inaudible)?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: They know for sure. I think the Germans, they really follow tennis good enough. They know a lot about tennis. I like to play here because they really -- last year me and Boris (inaudible) they really enjoyed it. They said it was one of the best matches ever. (inaudible).

Q. I saw it was really a great one and the press conferences (inaudible) all talked about this match. And Boris (inaudible)

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Yeah, it is bad for the German people and for the audience and for the tennis, I think because he is not here. But what can you do? I mean, I am sorry that he is not here. I would like him to be here but it is bad luck, I mean, didn't qualify.

Q. When you look back to the year 93, okay you are here and you qualified, the last year, let us say in the last week, what about the year 93?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: It is not a great year for me. I couldn't come back after injuries and my confidence was not there. I started to play great tennis; now I am here. Like after U.S. Open, I said if I finish the year about 15, 14 place in the word I am going to be happy. Now I am here, so I should be more happy. I really didn't expect a lot of the year --

Q. Goran, maybe it is the same thing that Boris last year, he went to this tournament; he qualified the last two weeks and same with you this year and Boris won. So they say Goran is No. 1 pick.

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I mean, I beat all the guys last couple of weeks, so I don't -- (inaudible) I am going to be thinking.

Q. Were you not playing tennis right now; were you not involved in the sport, what do you think you would be doing?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I have no idea. Maybe to be mathematician, fight in Croatia, I don't know. Something I would do.

Q. No thoughts at all?


Q. Frankfurt, did you believe after losing in Antwerp that you can make it?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: For me, I wasn't strong enough to beat Pioline but when Gustafsson beat Boris and Pete beat Pioline then it was okay.

Q. What is your goal for Frankfurt?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: Just to play good tennis and play tennis like I play in Paris and last couple of months -- (inaudible).

Q. What do you think are favorites here?

GORAN IVANISEVIC: I think Courier is not playing great tennis last couple of months, but you never know with him. He can all of a sudden come back.

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