Ivanisevic joins the army - November 2001
Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic has exchanged his tennis racket for a rifle after starting military service as a private in the Croatian army.
Ivanisevic, aged 30, has to undergo a two-week military training course at an army camp near his home town of Split before embarking on six months of compulsory service.
"I know I have to undergo basic drill first, but now that I am in the army, you can all sleep peacefully," said the Croat in the Jutarnji List newspaper.
In December he will be officially sworn in as a member of an elite sports squad in Zagreb.
Ivanisevic will enjoy a relaxed regime in the army barracks.
He has to stay there only until lunchtime, and will have afternoons free for practice on the court. He will also be able to sleep at home.
"Everything is fine, I like the atmosphere and the food is not bad either," he said after his first day in uniform.
"I take down more notes here than when I was in primary school."
The big-serving tennis star will be allowed to compete in tournaments.
Ivanisevic is a star in Croatia, and is well-known for his staunch nationalist rhetoric.
After the collapse of the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, he was the first Croatian sportsman to play under the checked flag of independence.
And at the Olympic games in Barcelona in 1992 he proudly led the Croatian sportsmen into the stadium.
He has never denied being involved in the campaign to prevent members of the Croatian army being handed over to the United Nations war crimes tribunal.
This summer, Ivanisevic finally won at Wimbledon, after loosing three times in earlier finals.
His victory triggered wild celebrations in Split, whith hundred of thousands people joining the street party.
He ended the year ranked 13th in the world, and has said he plans to play for two more years before quitting as a professional.