09.07.

2001: Goran Ivanišević Wins Wimbledon

2001: Goran Ivanišević Wins Wimbledon
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ "Goran Ivanisevic serve Wimbledon 2004". Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 9 July 2001
  • Ivanišević’s victory is even more significant if one considers that at that time he had problems with a shoulder injury, because of which he fell to 125th place in the ranking of the top players in the world (7 years prior to that, in 1994, he was the second-best world player). It is also interesting that before that victory, Ivanišević already played the finals of Wimbledon three times and was defeated all three times (in 1992 by Agassi, 1994 and 1998 by Sampras).

On this day Goran Ivanišević achieved the greatest success in the history of Croatian tennis, winning the prestigious Wimbledon tournament in the UK. 

In the finals on this day he defeated Patrick Rafter, once the first player in the world, with 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 2–6, 9–7. The match lasted for little more than three hours.

Ivanišević’s victory is even more significant if one considers that at that time he had problems with a shoulder injury, because of which he fell to 125th place in the ranking of the top players in the world (7 years prior to that, in 1994, he was the second-best world player).

Interestingly, since Ivanišević was ranked the World No. 125, he could not automatically earn a place at the 2001 Wimbledon, so the organizers gave him an invitation (wildcard). His victory at Wimbledon entered the annals of the world’s great sporting events since he became the only wildcard player that has ever won a Grand Slam tournament and the lowest ranked player in history to win Wimbledon.

It is also interesting that before that win Ivanišević already played the finals of Wimbledon three times and was defeated all three times (in 1992 by Agassi, 1994 and 1998 by Sampras). Because of those three defeats in the finals, many thought that he was not destined to win Wimbledon, but on this day he succeeded and showed that persistence pays off.

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