With the Wimbledon season in full swing, this is a story that we all should know about.
Goran Ivanisevic is a Croatian tennis player who currently is a tennis coach. He was one of the most popular and renowned tennis players in the 90s and also was achieved a career-high ranking of world number 2.
However, Ivanisevic holds another record: he is the only person ever to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title as a wildcard entry. Interestingly, that win was his only Wimbledon singles title. And that dramatic win of the Wimbledon Championship in 2001 is a story that teaches us that perseverance, determination, and hard work will always yield results.
In the 90s, Goran Ivanisevic saw many disappointments at the Wimbledon Championships. He reached his first final of this prestigious grand slam in 1992. However, he lost it to American tennis legend, Andre Agassi.
He got another chance to reach the finals a couple of years later in 1994. But, he was not destined to win the Championship even then. He lost that final to another tennis great, American Pete Sampras.
It is very well-known that people are lucky a third time. But Ivanisevic, sadly, was not among those third-time lucky people. He lost another Wimbledon final in 1998 when Pete Sampras defeated him in a five-set thriller. Ivanisevic was devastated and called this loss “the worst moment of my life.” His tears and breakdown after he lost the match are still etched in the eyes of many fans.
Unfortunately, after this loss, his tennis journey was somewhat derailed as he was plagued with injuries and a lack of motivation. His ATP ranking dwindled and it seemed as though he was on the brink of retirement.
However, he revived himself and, in 2001, he was given a wild card to the Wimbledon Championships, one that proved to be the most iconic and remembered wild cards ever.
Ivanisevic defeated many great players such as Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick, and Marat Safin on his way to the semi-final, where he clashed with the local hero, Tin Henman. The match spanned across three days due to interruptions by rain. It also went into a fifth set that Ivanisevic finally won to seal his place for a fourth time into the finals of the Wimbledon Championship.
His fourth final match of the championship was against Australian Pat Rafter. In one of the most dramatic and engaging finals ever, Ivanisevic lost two match points because of a double fault. It was only at his fourth match point that Ivanisevic was able to finally taste victory! The five-set thriller is a match that tennis fans across the world remember vividly. This match truly defines what champions are made out of.
Ivanisevic’s persistence, grit, determination, and courage is a lesson for all of us to never give up and to remember that life begins at the end of our comfort zone. It teaches us that no goal is impossible to reach if only your work hard!
Watch the video for yourself and let us know what you think about this fantastic victory of Ivanisevic.