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Goran Ivanisevic

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Goran Ivanišević
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Goran.jpg
Goran Ivanišević in the 1990s promoting the Croatian Coat of Arms

Country: Croatia
Residence: Monte Carlo, MON
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
Weight: 180 lb (81 kg)
Plays: Left
Turned pro: 1988
Highest singles ranking: 2 (7/4/1994)
Singles titles: 22
Career Prize Money: $19,876,579
Grand Slam Record
Australian Open QF (1989-94-97)
French Open QF (1992-94)
Wimbledon W (2001)
U.S. Open SF (1996)

Goran Ivanišević is a Croatian tennis player. Born in the port city of Split on September 13 1971, Ivanišević is best remembered for having won the men's singles title at Wimbledon in 2001 after already reaching the finals three times (1992, 1994 and 1998).

Ivanišević's name is synonymous with his booming serves, which was one of the greatest of all time. He was once ranked no. 2 in the world, behind Pete Sampras.

Career

Ivanišević turned professional in 1988, and won his first career doubles title later that year in Frankfurt (with Rudiger Haas).

Ivanišević made his first significant impact on the tennis world in 1990. In the French Open, he knocked-out Boris Becker in the first round of the men's singles and went on to reach the quarter-finals. He was also runner-up in the French Open men's doubles (with Petr Korda). A few weeks later at Wimbledon, Ivanišević made it all the way to the semi-finals, where he again met Becker and put up an impressive display before going down in four sets. Becker predicted after the match Ivanisevic would be a future Wimbledon champion. Ivanisevic also won his tour first singles title in 1990 at Stuttgart, and helped Yugoslavia win the World Team Cup.

Ivanišević quickly became known on the tour for his strong, attacking style of play and for an extremely powerful serve. For several years, he was the leading scorer of aces on the tour. A brilliant player, who was capabale of beating anyone in the world when he was at his very best, he was also known for occassional on-court temper tantrums and, from time-to-time, for "tanking" in matches (particularly in final sets) and being blown away by opponents who he should have been capabale of beating.

Ivanišević lost in the second round at Wimbledon in 1991 and courted controversy during the championships by not only expressing his strong Croatian nationalist sentiments during the period of independence from Yugoslavia, but also urging the top women's player Monica Seles (a Serbia-born ethnic Hungarian) to publicly express her stance, which she refused to do.

In 1992 Ivanišević reached the Wimbledon singles final, where he faced Andre Agassi. Both up-and-coming stars were gunning for their first Grand Slam title. In a dramatic five-set encounter, it was Agassi who eventually won 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Later that summer, at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Ivanišević won Bronze Medals in both singles and doubles for the newly-independent nation of Croatia. He also won four singles titles that year.

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Ivanisevic_Ancic_Queens_Club_2004.jpg
Goran Ivanišević and Mario Ančić playing doubles during the 2004 Queen's Club Championships.

Ivanišević reached the Wimbledon final for the second time in 1994, where he faced defending-champion Pete Sampras. Ivanišević put up a strong fight in the first two sets, but was then blown away in third as Sampras won 7-6, 7-6, 6-0. Ivanišević reached his career-high singles ranking of World No. 2 in July that year.

In 1995, Ivanišević won the Grand Slam Cup, beating Todd Martin in the final 7-6, 6-3, 6-4.

1996 was a strong year for Ivanišević as he won a career-best five singles titles. He reached the Grand Slam Cup final again, but this time lost to Becker in straight sets. He set a tour record by serving 1,477 aces over the course of the season. Ivanišević also teamed-up with Iva Majoli to win the 1996 Hopman Cup for Croatia.

In 1998, Ivanišević reached his third Wimbledon final. He faced Sampras again and pushed him to five sets before losing a closely-fought contest 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. After three final defeats, many people wondered if the man often touted as a future Wimbledon winner would ever fulfill his promise.

Ivanišević finished runner-up in the French Open men's doubles in 1999 (with Jeff Tarango). However for much of 1999, 2000 and 2001, he struggled with a shoulder injury and his performance and world ranking beganto steadily slide.

In the summer of 2001, Ivanišević was ranked the World No. 125. This was not good enough to earn him an automatic place in the main draw at Wimbledon but, given his past record as a three-time finalist, the organizers decided to give him a wildcard entry. Against all expectations, he powered his way through the draw to reach the final, setting-up a showdown the previous year's runner-up and former US Open champion Patrick Rafter. (It was the first singles final which Ivanišević had qualified for since 1998.) In an epic struggle lasting three hours and one minute, Ivanišević out-lasted Rafter to win in five sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7. Just two months shy of his 30th birthday, Ivanisevic became the lowest-ranked player and the first wildcard entry to win Wimbledon.

Ivanišević received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 2001.

The 2001 Wimbledon win proved to be the last of Ivanišević's career. He temporarily retired later in 2001 due to shoulder surgery, but remained listed at the bottom of the ATP's rankings. He returned to tennis in 2004, but retired permanently after a third-round loss to Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon. After the match, he again prominently displayed his Croatian heritage, this time by putting on a Croatia national football team jersey.

Over the course of his career, Ivanišević won 22 top-level singles titles and 9 doubles titles.

Quotes

  • "The trouble with me is that every match I play against five opponents: umpire, crowd, ball boys, court, and myself."
  • "I wouldn't want to go to a sports psychiatrist, because when you're finished, you come out more crazy than you go in."
  • "I still break racquets, but now I do it in a positive way."
  • "My fines? I pay more fines than some guys' career prize money on the tour."
  • "I think it's interesting, you have three movies in one match: horror, comedy, drama. It's fun. I enjoy it. I am like that. I don't like to change. And if I could choose, I would be the same again. Just me, and I like who I am."

External Links

de:Goran Ivanišević fr:Goran Ivanišević hr:Goran Ivanišević nl:Goran Ivanisevic ja:ゴラン・イワニセビッチ pl:Goran Ivanisević

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