Zagreb, January 27, 2020 - One of the greatest Croatian athletes of all time, Goran Ivanišević, is a new member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the American city of Newport. He became the first Croat in this respectable community, and received this recognition for a fantastic career that culminated in winning the Wimbledon title in 2001. In the most recent selection, Ivanišević earned his spot among the notables and became inductee alongside Spain's Conchita Martinez, and this new duo from the Hall of Fame was featured in Rod Laver Arena, the main venue of the Australian Open in Melbourne, entering its second week.
Goran Ivanišević was born in Split on September 13, 1971. When God was sharing talents, Goran was in the front row. Moreover, he was granted a lot, a great deal, all it took to go from Firule to planetary glory. He started and ended his tennis career as a player of the tennis club TK Split, in which he started in 1985. From 1988 to 2004, he played tennis professionally. Goran Ivanišević was a member of the Yugoslav National Team from 1988 to 1990 and then from 1992 to 2005 he wore a jersey with the Croatian coat of arms.
He draw the international tennis public's attention to the war in Croatia during the Wimbledon tournament in 1991, when he strongly condemned the aggression and asked for the help of the international community.
In the first year of professional involvement in tennis (1988), he won his first title paired with German Rudiger Haas, and recorded significant successes since 1990. He knocked Boris Becker out of the first round at Roland Garros, made his way to the quarterfinals and then to the finals with Czech Kord. That year, Goran won the tournament in Stuttgart and helped the Yugoslav National Team win the World Team Cup.
In a few years, he reached the top on the list of tennis players with greatest number of aces at the ATP tournaments.
He made three appearances in the finals of the notable Wimbledon, until finally winning it in 2001. Due to a shoulder injury, he missed numerous tournaments in the late 1990’s that made him only the 125th player in the world in the summer of 2001. This placement was not enough for direct placement at Wimbledon, so the organizers awarded him an invitation. Against all expectations, Goran Ivanišević made his way to the finals, where he played against the Australian Patrick Rafter. In a very even final, Goran defeated Rafter with 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6 and 9-7 that made him the lowest-ranked player in the history and the first player to win this prestigious tournament based on the invitation. Upon his return to his native Split, he was greeted by more than 100,000 fellow citizens at the Riva (waterfront), who thanked him for reaching the top of the tennis world.
In 2005, along with Ančić, Karlović, Ljubičić, Karanušić and Head Coach Nikola Pilić, he won the Davis Cup.
He reached the best (ATP) ranking in 1994, when he was the second. He won 22 prestigious tennis tournaments in his career in Singles and 9 tournaments in Doubles.
The Olympics, along with the notable Wimbledon, have a special, the most significant place in Goran Ivanišević's career. He made four appearances at the Olympics - making his debut as a member of the Yugoslav National Team in Seoul in 1988, and then as a member of the Croatian National Team in 1992 in Barcelona, in 1996 in Atlanta and in 2000 in Sydney. Goran Ivanišević's performance in Barcelona is particularly significant because at these Olympics he won the first two Olympic medals for Croatia since its independence – one in Singles and one in Doubles with Goran Prpić.
At the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, the first Olympics that Republic of Croatia participated in as an independent country, Goran Ivanišević had the honor to bear the Croatian flag at the Opening ceremony of the Games.
In tennis world, he was known for his attacking style of play and extremely powerful serve. He is the world record holder by number of aces. In as many as five seasons, he scored more than 1,000 aces, mostly in 1996 - 1,477 aces. Only three tennis players besides him were able to score more than 1,000 aces in a season.
In a poll conducted by the Sportske novosti magazine, Goran Ivanišević was proclaimed the Best Croatian Athlete in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2001. In 1994, the Croatian Olympic Committee proclaimed him the Greatest Sports Promoter of Croatia in the World. In the Croatian Olympic Committee’s selection, he was proclaimed the Most Successful Croatian Athlete in 1996 and 2001, and he was a member of the Most Successful Croatian Team in 2005.
In 1992, he received the State Award for Sports Franjo Buča, and since 2010, he has been an honorary member of the Split Sports Hall of Fame. He was presented the state awards Red kneza Branimira (The Order of Duke Branimir) with a necklace and Red Danice Hrvatske (The Order of the Croatian Morning Star) with the image of Franjo Bučar. (COC/JG)
The Heads of the Croatian Olympic Committee - President Zlatko Mateša and Secretary General Josip Čop - congratulated Goran Ivanišević on the great recognition.
with induction in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, your brilliant sports career has gained the only remaining dimension - the one we call immortality. With gratitude for all you have given to Croatian sports and the homeland of Croatia during your trophy and most outstanding career – on our behalf and on behalf of the entire Olympic Family - we sincerely congratulate you on this well-deserved honor!