Although slid down to the second rank of men's top tennis, Goran Ivanišević still is one of the world's most prominent players. The service cannon has won his reputation for his aces, his lethal forehand and his fastly changing haircuts.
He will always be remembered as the man who came close, but failed at the moment suprème. Ivanišević reached the final at Wimbledon aged 27, losing to Pete Sampras in five sets. He then spent fifteen days in a boat on the Adriatic Sea. Every night, when he tried to fall asleep, he saw his backhand into the net that cost him the match.
The huge talent never reached the number one spot of ATP tennis either. Too unsteady, Ivanišević knows: "Today I can beat everybody, tomorrow anyone can beat me". All or nothing is his tennis style, which brought him to second place of the world rankings in the beginning of 1997.
Being three times Wimbledon finalist, people accuse him of only using one weapon at the court. "They say, He's only serving", Ivanišević says, "but I won tournaments on clay, I won tournaments on hard courts, on grass, indoors. And you cannot win tournaments on clay, facing the best clay-court players, with only a serve."
Some facts and figures on Ivanišević:
- Birthdate: September 13, 1971
- Birthplace: Split, Croatia
- Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Height: 6'4'' /193 cm
- Weight: 180 lbs / 81 kg
- Plays: Left-handed
- Turned Pro: 1988
- Singles Titles: 21
- Doubles Titles: 9
- Prize Money so far: $18,552,805
Year Aus Open Roland Garros Wimbledon US Open
1988 - - 1ST -
1989 QF 4TH 2ND 2ND
1990 1ST QF SF 3RD
1991 3RD 2ND 2ND 4TH
1992 2ND QF F 3RD
1993 - 3RD 3RD 2ND
1994 QF QF F 1ST
1995 1ST 1ST SF 1ST
1996 3RD 4TH QF SF
1997 QF 1ST 2ND 1ST
1998 1ST 1ST F 4TH
1999 - 1ST 4TH 3RD
2000 2ND 1ST 1ST 1ST
Sources: atptour.com, goranivanisevic.com, telegraaf.nl, wimbledon.org
Update: In July 2001, Ivanišević managed to win Wimbledon as an outsider. As mentioned, the Croat had slipped on the world rankings, but completely out of the blue he stood up and won the tournament of all tournaments. He beat Patrick Rafter in the final. Ivanisevic: "This was the best Croatian sports result since our national football team got third in the 1998 World Cup. (...) This is so great, to touch the trophy that has so many great names. This is going to stay next to my bed for the rest of my life. I don't care if I never play another match in my life again. It is the moment I have waited for. I was always second but that isn't good enough. Now finally I am Champion of Wimbledon. This is everything for me."