Maradona plays tennis with Goran
06-17-2005, 10:25 AM
Post: #1
Maradona plays tennis with Goran
Maradona plays tennis with former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic

NOVI VINODOLSKI, Croatia (AP) - Diego Maradona traded lobs and groundstrokes with former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic on Thursday as the Argentina star continued his charity visit to Croatia.

Maradona, feted one of soccer's greatest players, was in Novi Vinodolski on a two-day visit to help raise money for a local orphanage. On Wednesday, he scored a handful of goals in a charity match featuring Ivanisevic, Boris Becker and other retired sports stars.

On the sidelines of an ATP Senior Tour event, Maradona said he was inspired by Ivanisevic's victory over Pat Rafter in the 2001 Wimbledon final - when he won in five sets to become the first wild-card champion.

"Goran is my tennis idol and I really wanted to play against him and test his famous serve," Maradona said.

Maradona's exertions come three months after gastric bypass surgery to help reduce his weight by 50 kilograms (110 pounds) within a year. Before the operation, the 1.68-meter (5-foot-6) Maradona weighed 121 kilograms (266 pounds).

Maradona, who captained Argentina to the 1986 World Cup, looked well on the tennis court, but hobbled slightly with a sore knee.

"I am feeling good. Everything is only getting better and better," Maradona said, adding that he had no plans aside from a return to Argentina. "Only God knows what I will do next."

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