Ivanisevic Leaves Milan Indoors
31 January 2002
Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic wasted three second-set match points before retiring in the third, with unseeded Czech opponent Michal Tabara leading 3-0. Fans booed the Croat, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, as he left the court. Ivanisevic later explained that he had a sore throat and felt weak when he decided to give up.
Tabara, ranked 117th in the ATP lists, advanced on a 5-7, 7-6 (7), 3-0 score.
Ivanisevic, a two-time champion in Milan, had a match point on 6-5 in the second set and then two at 6-5 and 7-6 in the tie break.
"I could hardly move my legs," Ivanisevic said. "Now I'll prepare for the Davis Cup match."
Croatia will play Germany next week.
Ivanisevic joined American Jan-Michael Gambill, Moroccan Hicham Arazi and Czech Jiri Novak in the list of seeded players ousted from the tournament.
Ivanisevic misses out on home town sportsman award
25 January 2002
Goran Ivanisevic has failed to be named sportsman of last year in his home town, despite his Wimbledon win.
Ivanisevic missed out on the title in Split because he had not played at least one game for the local tennis club.
However, he has the consolation of being named Croatia's best sportsman.
The title of Split sportsman of the year 2001 went to the Croatian swimmer Duje Draganja.
A spokesman for the sports society in Split said: "According to our rules, the best sportsman of the year needs to play at least one game for the Split-based club during a 12-month period and Goran unfortunately failed to do it."
However, the rules did not stop the society giving Goran a special lifetime achievement award to mark his Wimbledon title.
Goran seeded for Milan
22 January 2002
Last-minute entry Juan Carlos Ferrero will be the top-seed in the Milan Open, the first European ATP tournament of the year.
Goran Ivanisevic has been seeded second for the indoor tournament, which starts on January 28.
Also due to play are defending champion Roger Federer, Jan Michael Gambill, Hicham Arazi and Nicolas Escude.
Gustavo Kuerten's appearance at the event is doubtful as he is suffering from injury.
19 January 2002
UK fans don't forget the second part of 100 GREATEST SPORTING MOMENTS is on tonight. I didn't watch it last week, but I would think Goran winning Wimbledon is more likely to be on tonights show (they are counting down between 50 and 1 tonight.)
Channel 4, 9pm.
More details can be found on this web site:
Life's Bright for Goran Despite Open Loss
17 January 2002
By Ossian Shine
MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) - Goran Ivanisevic was caught up in a series of upsets at the Australian Open on Wednesday night, but the Croatian says life is much brighter for him now.
"Yeah, I lost but I have got my contact lenses now so I can see properly. It is like somebody has turned on the lights," the Wimbledon champion said after his second round loss to France's Jerome Golmard.
"Sure, I lost and you know, it is disappointing, but I played well ... I can leave with my head held high," he said after the 6-3, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 defeat under floodlights.
"I was fighting, I had fun and everybody was happy. Last year I lost first-round quallies (qualifying) but this time I can leave with pride, playing well."
Ivanisevic, seeded 10th, wilted under the Frenchman's firepower, admitting he did not know what to do.
"I think the match was very good ... he played great and I don't think he could do any better," he said.
"I served good and it didn't matter how hard I served he just hit better and better. I tried my best but nothing was working."
"He has had problems before, sometimes he goes crazy, you know, but he is a very talented player. You think you have hit a winner and he hits just something amazing back."
The 28-year-old Golmard was thrilled with his victory.
"I am so happy to win this match against Goran because it really is a dream to do this," he said.
"I really just played my best tennis tonight. I lost to him two times before and this time I managed to serve unbelievably well.
"It was difficult for me to focus on my game because Goran made some jokes tonight but for me, I was very nervous.''
16 January 2002
For a 30-year-old who lost his second round match in the Australian Open late at night after two hours, 42 minutes of sweaty toil, Goran Ivanisevic sure enjoyed himself. He crashed down 30 aces, bowed before his opponent and applauded his winners. He waved to line judges, bantered with the crowd and muttered colorful Croatian curses. But it all came to nought against world No.45 Jerome Golmard, who put out the Wimbledon champion and crowd favorite 6-3 7-6(2) 5-7 6-4.
Golmard, 28, is a Florida-based Frenchman who names Rebound Ace as his favorite surface. That preference was obvious as the tall left-hander dominated in all departments but the ace tally. Armed, like Goran, with a big lefty serve, launched off a parallel stance a la John McEnroe, Golmard's attack often had Ivanisevic scurrying and stretching for the ball. He was also impassable at the baseline, finishing off many points with his big forehand. Whatever Goran tried - serve-volleying, staying back and trying to blast through with winners - didn't enjoy much of a success rate.
Golmard's only lapse cost him the third set. At 5-6, an errant forehand and double fault helped Ivanisevic to the decisive break for the set. But Golmard kept up his tough standard in the fourth, and made the decisive break in the fifth game, when Ivanisevic smacked a putaway forehand into the net-cord and then double faulted on breakpoint. He didn't get a chance to recover, Golmard serving out the fourth set and securing his first match point.
"I'm very happy," exulted Golmard, whose third round appearance equals his best Grand Slam showing (he has reached the same stage at all majors except the French Open). "I played my best tennis tonight. It's a dream to play Goran." The Frenchman was primed by his previous two opponents, both big-serving left-handers like Goran. He lost the Auckland final to Greg Rusedski and defeated Wayne Arthurs in the first round on Monday.
Next for Golmard in the third round is Slovak Dominik Hrbaty, quarter finalist here last year and an impressive 6-1 6-3 6-0 victor earlier today over 18th seed Albert Portas.
Ivanisevic had nothing but lavish praise for the man who beat him for the first time in three meetings. "The match was very good. He played great. I don't think he could have played better," said the Croatian. "He's a very talented player. You think you hit a winner and he plays something unbelievable back."
In the face of his opponent's superlative play, Ivanisevic never got down on himself, because "It's not that I did something wrong. He played too good. It's tough when someone's returning like that, always pressure on my second serve."
So, we inevitably asked of the Split personality, was it the good Goran or the bad Goran out there tonight? "They both enjoy," quipped Goran. "They had fun - full house and the contact lenses, finally both can see well. Sure I'm disappointed but I have fun. Crowd was happy, I was happy. I gave my best, I fight and I go proud out of here. Last year I lost first round of qualies. This year I gave my best. I play on centre court, was full crowd. You give your best and then you feel good inside."
With Goran's exit, only three of the top 10 seeds remain. Who can win it? "You have so many good players still in the draw," says Ivanisevic, nominating Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski as his favorites. "It's going to be interesting now."
Thanks to Sarah for this news.
Ivanisevic books place in second round
14 January 2002
Goran Ivanisevic came from a set down to beat Czech Martin Damm in the first round of the Australian Open.
The match looked on course to go to a fifth-set decider when Damm led 3-0 in the fourth.
But the Wimbledon champion took six of the next seven games to win 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.
Australian Open, First Round - Current Scores
14 January 2002 [07:38 GMT Time]
Martin Damm CZE 30 6 5 3
Goran Ivanisevic CRO 15 4 7 4
Ivanisevic expected to provide Knights with kick-start
13 January 2002
By FLEUR LEYDEN
Sunday 13 January 2002
Tennis ace and soccer enthusiast Goran Ivanisevic is expected to kick off tonight's National Soccer League match between the Melbourne Knights and Newcastle United at Knights Stadium.
The Wimbledon champion will warm up with the Knights before the 6pm match and, hopefully, provide some inspiration for a team that has won only once at home this season.
It will be the big-serving Croatian's third appearance at Sunshine, according to Knights' captain-coach Andrew Marth. Initially reported to be playing in the game, the Australian Open No.12 seed will, instead, avoid any potential injury before the Open and watch the game from the president's box.
As the Knights continue their losing streak at home, supporter numbers dwindle and crowd-pleasers are becoming essential.
Marth said the appearance by former Manchester United captain Eric Cantona in the Knights match against South Melbourne on February 9 will go ahead. Cantona's appearance would be a boost for the Knights, who can expect a 30,000-plus crowd and corporate backing.
Seventh on the ladder, the Knights last week lost 1-0 at home to Parramatta Power. A win tonight against the second-ranked Newcastle side would be a step in the right direction if they are to finish in the top six.
Marth conceded the game would be tough and the side's strategy involved a patient approach.
"We will be more patient than we have been in the past. In the past we scored early but were getting caught later on," he said. "Newcastle are a good team, but this is like a grand final to us. It's a must-win situation - we need to get our home record straight."
Although United is currently on a 10-match undefeated streak, its last loss, in round 30 last season, was to the Melbourne Knights.
Head-to-head, the home side has won 15 of 20 meetings (and drawn two) with United and has clinched eight victories from the nine games played in Melbourne over the regular season.
Marth said he will make player changes following the defeat by Paramatta Power, but where they will be is still undecided.
He said striker Toto da Costa, who sustained a quad muscle injury, would be playing, while a calf muscle injury would not sideline key striker Joel Porter.
Source: The Age
ATP VOTES IVANISEVIC MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF 2001
12 January 2002
MELBOURNE, Jan 12 (Hina) - 2001 Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanisevic has been voted the Most Improved Player of 2001 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
The title is given by professional players, who saw Ivanisevic's Wimbledon victory and his leap from the 129th to 12th position on the ATP list at the end of last year as the biggest individual improvement in 2001.
Australian Lleyton Hewitt has been named Player of the Year.
100 Greatest Sporting Moments
12 January 2002
The UK TV channel - Channel 4 - is tonight broadcasting the first half of 2 programmes called '100 Greatest Sporting Moments'. They were voted for by the public and Goran has been nominated for winning Wimbledon in 2001 so he will be in the Top 100 (somewhere!)
The programme starts at 9pm tonight and continues next Saturday (19 January.)
More details can be found at: Source: channel4.com/greatest
Rusedski Beats Ivanisevic at Heineken
10 January 2002
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) - Greg Rusedski snapped a seven-year, nine-match losing streak against Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic with a 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 victory Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Heineken Open.
Sixth-seeded Rusedski beat second-seeded Ivanisevic for the first time since 1994.
"After I won the first set, it became difficult mentally," Rusedski said. "After dropping the second set to love, I knew I had to get back into business right away."
"After nine losses you start to get a complex you're not going to beat this guy."
Ivanisevic struggled against Rusedski, partly because of a rotator cuff injury.
"If I play like this at the Australian Open, I'll be going home pretty quick,'' said Ivanisevic, the No. 10 seed for the Australian Open which starts Monday."
"It's a tear, plus my nerve is jammed," he said. "Every time I lift my arm, it's jamming the nerve. I don't have a problem with the pain so much, but I lose the power in my arm. My serve was not going anywhere because my arm was very sore, very heavy."
Rusedski Snaps Losing Streak Against Ailing Ivanisevic
10 January 2002
Nine breaks of serve and just 15 aces between them! What's going on? The expected servefest between Greg Rusedski and Goran Ivanisevic gave way to a more fan-friendly rallying contest Thursday as Rusedski finally snapped his career nine-match losing streak against the Wimbledon champion, who continues to battle a shoulder injury. Rusedski won 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 to advance to the Heineken Open semifinals, where he will play Jiri Novak.
Many-sided Goran grabs win
9 January 2002
By Jenni Rutherford at Stanley Street
New Zealand got their first taste of Goran Ivanisevic's other half on Wednesday exposed to his renowned bad boy behaviour when he threw his racket and hit balls out of the court to vent his anger. However Ivanisevic produced some stellar shots to put a smile back on his face by the end of the match.
Ivanisevic advanced to the quarterfinals of the Heineken Open winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 against 19-year-old Mikhail Youzhny, the furthest he has progressed in the tournament.
The match was a drawn out affair with two rain delays causing it to last nearly four hours although only 1 hour 40 minutes was spent on court.
An unrelenting Youzhny broke the second seed in the opening point and was unfazed by the booming server who struggled to convert points into game winners.
The first set was a mix of the sublime and the horrible, with two particularly unbelievable shots from the Croatian accompanied with some ordinary mistakes and Youzhny shine.
"I hit a couple of unbelievable shots, I don't know how I hit them. My volley was unbelievable," he said.
A backhand behind his back and a volley from an almost dead ball won Ivanisevic valuable points and the appreciation of the audience.
Ivanisevic recovered from his first up falter to hold serve for the remainder of the set. He was a picture of calm compared with his next set despite feeling in the command of the match he lost his temper firing a ball out of the court after losing a point earning a warning from the umpire. Rackets also hit the ground as shots went askew.
Ivanisevic, a veteran of wet weather waits, was bored but remained calmed during his two, hour long breaks sitting in the locker room. He used the second stoppage to cool off after the fiery second set and finished off the game with ease.
"There was more pressure on him, after the second break (for rain). He was thinking, I have him I can do this or that, it's one set-all it's going to be tougher," he said.
And it was.
The world no.12 found his serve and aced his way through the final set winning 6-3. The Russian teen was on the receiving end of six of Ivanisevic's 14 aces in the third set.
So far the second seed's injured shoulder has held up and he is confident it won't trouble him for the quarterfinals on Thursday where will play with Greg Rusedski or Michal Tabara. When rain halted play Tabara was leading 7-5, but Rusedski had broken him in the first set for a 1-0 advantage.
The sun came out for the third set and Ivanisevic's jovial mood returned. He took his time in the final game wasting four match points before sealing the game.
"I enjoyed it. I had some laughs and some racket throws so everything was there - all the aspects of my character," he said.
Date published: Jan 09, 2002
Private Ivanisevic No Marksman
9 January 2002
Owning one of the most lethal serves in tennis history, Goran Ivanisevic is pretty good at firing aces. But firing a rifle is another matter altogether. Ivanisevic spent nine days training with the Croatian army late last year, but returned less than impressive results on the target range.
"It was different holding a gun, and I was thinking that hopefully I wouldn't have to use it," the Wimbledon champion said. "I'm not that good...you have dismantle it in 40 seconds and put it back together in 60 seconds...I was terrible. I could undo it in 40 seconds but (assembling it) in 60 seconds, no way. I was thinking if I was in a war, I would be dead in two seconds.
"Altogether I was seven days in Split and two days in Zagreb. It was fun, an honor for me to be there. Just tough to wake up that early, but you get used to everything. You do some exercise, you go to shoot, you learn. You have to be there four or five hours, then they let me do my things. I was not allowed to leave the country. There were like 500 people doing it.
"It (the army) helps your discipline. Everything has to be clean. You have to come on time. You have to stay there. (On the circuit), you get used to all these nice hotels. The maid makes your bed. The maid cleans everything. (In the army), you have to do everything by yourself. You have to wait in a line for breakfast with hundreds of other people."
Ivanisevic in Rain-Marred Battle with Youzhny
9 January 2002
Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic has moved through to the quarterfinals after defeating Russian Mikhail Youzhny 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Ivanisevic was in trouble at 1-2 and 0-30 in the third set, but held serve and broke Youzhny in the following game to set up the win.
Ivanisevic will now play the winner of the match in progress between Greg Rusedski and Michal Tabara. Tabara took the first set 7-5 just before 7 p.m. (NZ time) before rain again halted play.
On Center Court, Swedish veteran Jonas Bjorkman broke Marat Safin's opening serve in the only game played before the rain.
Goran Puts Opponents In Firing Line
8 January 2002
Goran Ivanisevic may be enjoying his national service in the Croatian Army but he has no doubt that his bullet-like serves remain his favourite weapon.
"If I was in a war, I would be dead in two seconds," said the Wimbledon champion after his 7-6, 6-3 first round Heineken Open victory over Jarkko Nieminen.
Ivanisevic is allowed time off from his six month stint in the armed forces to compete in major tournaments around the world and was clearly happy to be back on court in the warm-up event to the Australian Open.
"It was different holding a gun, hopefully I won't ever have to use it. I'm not that good. With the Kalashnikov you have to undo (dismantle) it in 40 seconds and put it back together in 60 seconds, at which I was terrible," he said.
"I could undo it in 40 seconds but (assembling it) in 60 seconds, no way. I was thinking if I was in a war, I would be dead in two seconds."
In his nine days of service so far, Ivanisevic has found himself in completely different surroundings to those he is used to as one of the world's most famous tennis players.
"(On the circuit), you get used to all these nice hotels. The maid makes your bed. The maid cleans everything.
"(In the army), you have to do everything by yourself. You have to wait in a line for breakfast with hundreds of other people."
But in true Goran style, he still managed to find a lighter side to his army ordeal.
"It was fun, an honour for me to be there. Just tough to wake up that early but you get used to everything. You do some exercise, you go to shoot, you learn."
The 30-year-old, who stormed to the 2001 Wimbledon crown after gaining entry as a wild card, also said he would quit if forced to return to the route of qualifying matches and wild cards to compete in tournaments.
"No way would I go back and play 'qualies' and ask for wild cards, and wait to see if anyone would give me one," he said.
"If I'm going to drop or get into a situation where I have to play 'qualies' or ask for a wild card, I'm going to stop."
Ivanisevic now faces Mikhail Youzhny on Centre Court on Wednesday, but at the end of the year he will review his situation and make a decision about his future.
"So now I'm going to see the end of the year how I'm standing. If I want to play more or not," he said.
"I'm not going to announce I stop or not. I'm just going to disappear. You're not going to see my name again."
Whatever his decision, the tempestuous Croat believes his Wimbledon triumph, his first ever grand slam title, has changed his way of thinking on the court.
"To myself, I have nothing more to prove. But people look at you different. For two years, I was put on some funny courts and nobody even noticed. Now they know I'm there, they want me to win.
"But inside me, my dreams came true. It's easier to play. I don't take the losses so bad as I did before."
Goran: "I owe this crowd more."
8 January 2002
Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic rode a punishing serve through the first round of the 2002 Heineken Open in Auckland, giving Finn Jarkko Nieminen no chance in a 7-6(5) 6-3 result.
The powerful Croatian served 18 aces and cranked the speed clock up to 200km/h in a match that took little more than an hour. Four of those aces came in the fourth game of the second set - two of them off second serves.
"My serve was going well, better than I expected," Ivanisevic said afterwards. "I didn't serve very well over the last couple of days, but the rhythm was there and it was very smooth."
Ivanisevic was less impressed with other aspects of his game, but was confident he was on the right track for a good showing through the rest of the week. His only previous appearance in Auckland was as a wildcard two years ago, losing to then-defending champion Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands in the first round.
This time round, he is keen to repay the support he receives from the local Croatian community. "Last time, I leave early and I think I owe this crowd something more."
Ivanisevic readjusting back to tennis life
6 January 2002
AUCKLAND, Sunday January 6, 2002 Goran Ivanisevic will want to be more accurate with his racquet than he was with his rifle when he takes to the Stanley St tennis courts this week.
The popular Croatian and 2001 Wimbledon champion is back for the Heineken Open as second seed.
He will play unseeded Finn Jarkko Nieminen in first-round action on Tuesday.
Fresh from his army stint, Ivanisevic said he had enjoyed the discipline the changed environment had brought.
But of his rifle-handling, Ivanisevic laughed and said: "Hopefully I do not have to use it. My sheet (target) was clean."
Army routine was something of a culture shock for the 30-year-old, who has banked close to $US20 million ($A39.0 million) since turning professional in 1988.
"We are used to nice hotels, having someone make our beds and get up late," Ivanisevic said.
Standing in line at 7am waiting for breakfast was a very different experience.
But army life proved a break after a hectic year in which, against all the odds, Ivanisevic won Wimbledon enroute to an end-of-season world ranking of 12 up from his 129 a year earlier.
"Winning Wimbledon was the biggest thing in my life. After being beaten three times in the final, God gave me a fourth chance. I took it," Ivanisevic said.
"Even now, I'm nervous just thinking about 1pm on the Monday (in June) when I will have to defend my title. It is going to be fun."
But before he can think about that, he has business Down Under.
Still smarting from his first round loss here two years ago, Ivanisevic is keen to make amends.
"The crowd here was nice. There were a lot who had come to watch. They wanted to see me play but I stayed only two days," Ivanisevic said. "It was not worth it."
The Croatian with a ready smile and the sparkling eyes, admitted tonight that Auckland was not his first choice as a lead-in tournament for the Australian Open, starting in Melbourne on January 14.
"It is a long flight," he said, speaking of his trip this week from the Doha tournament, in Qatar, where he lost in the second round to "someone (Radek Stepanek) ranked 500 in the world."
Stepanek is on court in doubles action on Tuesday night. His singles ranking falls well short of getting a start even in the qualifying tournament.
Ivanisevic, asked about his reported shoulder injury, said he had not played much tennis in the lead-up to Doha and had been forced to hit a lot of balls in his first-round match with Stefan Koubek.
"I had to hit a lot of backhands and forehands and then I get pain, but I have to get used to it," he said.
"There's going to be pain but I'm going to take painkillers. I was thinking about surgery but it is going to take me too much time -- I'm not prepared to do that."
Nor will he ever say when enough is enough.
"I'm just going to one day disappear," he said. "I'm not going to announce anything. One day my name will just not be there."
Source: The Age
Stepanek Beats Ivanisevic at Qatar
2 January 2002
DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Radek Stepanek, a qualifier from the Czech Republic, upset second-seeded Goran Ivanisevic 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 Tuesday in the second round of the Qatar Open for his first ATP Tour victory.
Stepanek, 23, looked at ease throughout the match. He broke in the second, fourth and eighth games of the season set.
"I waited for Goran to make mistakes, which he did," Stepanek said. "I played my natural game. I am very happy to have made it to the quarterfinals."
Ivanisevic Wins in Doha
1 January 2002
Goran Ivanisevic started his New Year with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Austria's Stefan Koubek. The Croatian, seeded second at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2002, had a brief lapse in the second set, but he managed to come back strong in the third set and advance to the second round. He now meets qualifier Radek Stepanek, who brushed past Belgium's Christophe Rochus 7-6(5), 6-3 on Tuesday. "I knew it was going to be a tough match and I'm very happy with the way I played," Ivanisevic said. "I wasn't able to practice very much before the tournament because of the bad weather in Split, but I took my chances on the critical points and it paid off.