GORAN IVANISEVIC Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Goran Ivanisevic                                                                     
Born: 13 September 1971 Split, Croatia.                                                     
Goran Šimun Ivanisevic (born in Split, September 13, 1971)                                 
is a former professional tennis player from Croatia. He is best remembered for             
being the only person to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon as a wildcard.           
He achieved this in 2001, having previously been runner-up at the championships             
in 1992, 1994 and 1998. Ivanisevic is famous for his strong serve, which is one             
of the greatest to date. His career-high singles ranking was World No. 2 (behind           
Pete Sampras) in 1994.                                                                     
Ivanisevic was born in Split, Croatia, in the former Yugoslavia. He turned                 
professional in 1988, and won his first career doubles title later that year in             
Frankfurt (with Rüdiger Haas).                                                             
Ivanisevic 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. Becker reportedly remarked about                   
Ivanisevic that "even God could not have played any better". He was also runner-up         
in the French Open men's doubles (with Petr Korda). A few weeks later at                   
Wimbledon, Ivanisevic 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.                                                   
Ivanisevic 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 capable of beating                 
anyone in the world when he was at his very best, he was also known for                     
occasional on-court temper tantrums and, from time-to-time, for "tanking" in               
matches (particularly in final sets) and being blown away by opponents he was               
capable of beating.                                                                         
Ivanisevic lost in the second round at Wimbledon in 1991.                                   
In 1992 Ivanisevic 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, Ivanisevic won             
Bronze Medals in both singles and doubles for the newly-independent nation of               
Croatia. He also won four singles titles that year. He also courted controversy             
during the championships by not only expressing his strong Croatian patriotic               
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.                                               
Olympic medal record                                                                       
Men’s Tennis                                                                             
Bronze 1992 Barcelona Singles                                                               
Bronze 1992 Barcelona Doubles                                                               
Ivanisevic reached the Wimbledon final for the second time in 1994, where he was           
defeated by defending-champion Pete Sampras in three sets, 7-6, 7-6, 6-0.                   
Ivanisevic reached his career-high singles ranking of World No. 2 in July that             
In 1995, Ivanisevic won the Grand Slam Cup, beating Todd Martin in the final 7-6,           
6-3, 6-4. Continuing his strong performances at the Wimbledon tournament, he               
would reach the semifinals that year, losing to Pete Sampras in a hard fought               
five set match, 7-6 4-6 6-3 4-6 6-3.                                                       
In 1996 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. Ivanisevic also teamed-up             
with Iva Majoli to win the 1996 Hopman Cup for Croatia. Ivanisevic would also               
reach his first Grand Slam semifinal other than Wimbledon at the U.S. Open that             
year, falling once again to Pete Sampras in four sets.                                     
In 1998, Ivanisevic 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.                         
Ivanisevic 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 began to steadily slide.             
He was widely acclaimed as the best player never to win a Grand Slam.                       
But then came the summer of 2001. Ivanisevic 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 with the previous year's                 
runner-up and former US Open champion Patrick Rafter. (It was the first singles             
final which Ivanisevic had qualified for since 1998.) In an epic struggle                   
lasting three hours and one minute, Ivanisevic 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. His Wimbledon success was rated sixteenth at the list of 100                     
Greatest Sporting Moments.                                                                 
Ivanisevic received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality             
Award in 2001.                                                                             
Goran Ivanisevic and Mario Ančić playing doubles during the 2004 Queen's Club             
The 2001 Wimbledon win proved to be the last of Ivanisevic'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 and declaring now he had lost           
he could watch Croatia beat England in the Euro2004. The Wimbledon crowd booed             
this. Croatia went on to lose 3-2.                                                         
Over the course of his career Ivanisevic won 22 top-level singles titles and 9             
doubles titles.                                                                             
In 2005 Ivanisevic was a member of the Croatian team for the Davis Cup final               
against Slovakia in Bratislava, though he did not play in any of the match-ups.             
Croatia won the final 3-2.                                                                 
In June 2006 he performed in the Calderstones Park tournament in Liverpool.                 
In November 2006 Ivanisevic made history again by winning the Frankfurt title,             
part of the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions, defeating a fit John McEnroe in 2             
tight sets 7-6(12), 7-6(1). After the match, Ivanisevic said “It’s always great         
to play John. He was my idol, and it is special to beat him.”