Ivanisevic backs Henman for title
4 July 2002
London - Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia has backed British hope Tim Henman as his successor to win the men's title for the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
The injured holder played Henman in a memorable rain-affected semi-final last year before becoming a surprise champion winning his only Grand Slam title on his 14th attempt.
"Maybe this will be Tim's year to win. After all, your Queen is celebrating 50 years on the throne of England.
"Maybe to crown such a celebration is Tim's destiny," said Ivanisevic from his home in Split where he is recovering from a shoulder operation.
"I have so many wonderful memories from last year, but I will never forget the three days I had to fight with Tim. I will be back next summer."
The British number one continues his bid on Thursday on Centre Court when his quarter-final match with the Brazilian Andre Sa resumes with Henman having won the first set 6-3 before rain stopped play.
Wimbledon-Agassi spares a thought for absent Ivanisevic
24 June 2002
LONDON (Reuters) - Andre Agassi gratefully accepted the honour of opening Centre Court proceedings at Wimbledon but did spare a thought for absent reigning champion Goran Ivanisevic.
"I thought we were going to have a moment of silence for him or something," he smiled after thrashing Israel's Harel Levy 6-0 6-4 6-4 in the first round.
The defending men's champion is traditionally given the honour of playing the first match on Centre Court at the Wimbledon championships.
"It is really too bad (for him) because that is such a special part of winning, you know, coming back," said Agassi on Monday.
"The year after I won (1992) I was injured ... was struggling. I didn't play the French Open. Probably with hindsight I shouldn't have even attempted to play here.
"But I just couldn't help wanting to go out there and experience defending ... that feeling of walking out there at that designated time.
"It was great going out there today, but it's different conditions now, you know, going out there in place of somebody versus earning that honour.
"But every time I'm in that court it feels like it brings back a lot of memories."
Goran to be represented by father
24 June 2002
AELTC Press Release
Goran Ivanisevic to be represented by his father on opening day of The Championships
Goran Ivanisevic will be represented by his father, Srdjan, on the opening day of The Championships after doctors advised Goran not to travel to Wimbledon following recent surgery to his shoulder.
The All England Club had invited the current Men's Singles Champion and his parents to come to Wimbledon for the first day of The Championships as their guests in the Royal Box.
Tim Phillips, Chairman of the All England Club, said: "We all share Goran's disappointment that he could not be here in person, but are delighted that his father will be here to represent him."
Croatian Wimbledon winner Ivanisevic says he won't attend tournament as spectator
21 June 2002
ZAGREB, Croatia - Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, recovering after shoulder surgery, said in comments published Friday that he will not attend this year's tournament as a spectator.
"I can't return there wearing a suit and a tie," Ivanisevic told the Sportske Novosti daily. "I'll return, but the way I should - with a racket."
"I hope and I wish that it'll be next year," he added.
Ivanisevic, 31, stunned the world last year by becoming the first wildcard player to win Wimbledon in a dramatic final against Australian Patrick Rafter.
In May, the left-handed Ivanisevic underwent surgery on his left rotator cuff in a clinic in Heidelberg, Germany.
He said his rehabilitation is progressing well, and that he should be able to raise his arm above his head "in about two to three weeks."
He said that attending this year's Wimbledon tournament without being able to play was "inconceivable."
The All England Club suggested that Ivanisevic walk around the central court before the tournament begins next Monday since he can't defend his title.
"But how can I do that and then go into the lounge to watch the match, knowing that at that moment, I should have been on the court, preparing to defend the title?" he said.
"When I finish my career, I'll come to Wimbledon as a fan and watch tennis," he said. "But I can't do it yet. I'm still a player."