Interesting Facts about Goran Ivanisevic

We know him as one of the best and most charismatic tennis stars to have ever graced the game but what else can we discover about the great Goran Ivanisevic? Here are some interesting facts that you may not be aware of.

  • Goran was born Goran Simun Ivanisevic on 13th September 1971 in the city of Split in the former Yugoslavia. Srđan and Gorana Ivanisevic were his parents.
  • At school he excelled at a number of sports but tennis and football were his main passions. Tennis was his strongest discipline and he trained hard to become a success. By 1988, he was ranked number three in the world as a junior.
  • Notable successes as a junior player include the 1987 doubles title at the US Open while he also reached the semi final of the US and the French Opens.
  • 1988 was also the year that Goran Ivanisevic turned professional. Singles tennis was his main focus but his first major success as a senior player came alongside the German Rudiger Haas as they claimed a men’s doubles title in Frankfurt.
  • 1988 was clearly a big year for the big serving left hander. It was the first time that he was chosen to carry the flag for his country at the Olympics. This came at the Seoul games and he was to be awarded the honour again at Barcelona in 1992.
  • In 1989 he reached the quarter finals of the Australian Open. This was his best finish at Melbourne and he went on to repeat this achievement in 1994 and 1997.
  • A quarter final finish was also his best at the French Open: 1990, 1992 and 1994 were the years in which he achieved this.
  • His breakthrough on the world stage came at Wimbledon where, as number eight seed in 1992, he came through to the final, only to lose in five sets against Andre Agassi.
  • Just when it seemed as though Goran would never win a Grand Slam tournament, the Croatian landed the Wimbledon men’s singles title in 2001.
  • Ivanisevic is the only player in the history of the game to have ever won Wimbledon as a Wild Card entry.
  • He finished his playing career with a record of 22 singles titles and 9 in doubles. His highest career ranking as a singles player was number two, which he reached in 1994.
  • Goran was a regular fixture in the Croatian Davis Cup side and he won the trophy with his country in 2005. In total, he played 43 matches in this competition, winning 32 of them.
  • Away from the tennis courts, Goran Ivanisevic is heavily involved in charity work and set up the Help Children in Need foundation in his native Croatia. In 1999, he served as charities chairman for the ATP tour.
  • Goran is a huge football fan and has ties with his hometown club Hadjuk Split. Over in England, his favourite team is West Bromwich Albion and he travels to see them wherever possible.
  • Ivanisevic could well have made a career in the world of football had things not worked out so well on the tennis courts. The coach at Hadjuk Split commented that he could have turned professional and he was once offered a contract to turn out for the team on a temporary basis.
  • Having retired from the senior men’s tour, Goran Ivanisevic still plays masters and exhibition tournaments but in the present day he is a respected coach on the tour. His star pupil is his fellow Croatian Marin Cilic and together, the two men masterminded a memorable triumph when Cilic beat Kei Nishikori in the final of the US Open in 2014.