StarWing Sports Press Release, January 29, 2020
Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on 18 July at a ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island.
The former World No. 2 reached The Championships final on three occasions (1992, 1994 and 1998) before lifting the Wimbledon trophy in 2001 (d. Pat Rafter), as a World No. 125-ranked wild card. Ivanisevic, who retired in 2004, was also a singles bronze medalist and doubles bronze medalist (w/Goran Prpic) at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
“A little more than one month ago, Todd Martin [CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame] called me to tell me that I was in. I was a little bit speechless. I didn’t know what to say. It’s probably the biggest and greatest honour any sportsman can receive. He told me, ‘You have to be quiet until at least you come to Australian Open’. So I kept my mouth shut pretty well. I told my wife, and I had to say to my team, but they were okay.
“My tennis journey started 41 years ago in Split, and it’s going to end in Newport. I have five months to practice my speech. It’s going to be challenging. We have three Gorans, I think one is going to speak. It looks like I did something well in the tennis world. There were a lot of ups and downs, a lot of different highways I took. In the end, it paid off. I cannot say too many times, but this time I’m really proud of myself for the achievements I earned in tennis.”
Our 2001 champion Goran Ivanisevic has been inducted into the @TennisHalloFame 🇭🇷
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) January 28, 2020
In a 16-season professional career, the Croatian won 22 singles titles — including the 1995 Grand Slam Cup — from 49 finals and recorded 599 match wins. He was part of the Croatian team that won the 2005 Davis Cup title. As a doubles player, he won nine titles and finished runner-up at Roland Garros in 1990 (w/Petr Korda) and 1999 (w/Jeff Tarango).
Since retiring as a player, Ivanisevic has coached Marin Cilic (2013-2016), Tomas Berdych (2016-17), Milos Raonic (2018-19) and he current coaches Novak Djokovic (since 2019).
Djokovic, after his Australian Open quarter-final win over Raonic on Tuesday, said: “Congratulations my dear coach, for getting into the Hall of Fame. He deserves it and is a legend of our sport. I’ve known him since I was 12 years old. We go back to Germany at the Niki Pilic Tennis Academy, where he was preparing for his Wimbledon title. I was amazed to have the opportunity to be with him and hit. We have always had a friendly relationship. I am honoured to have him in my team.”
Stan Smith, the President of the International Hall of Fame and 1987 inductee, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Goran Ivanisevic and Conchita Martínez to the Hall of Fame. Between their accomplishments on court and the way they’ve represented themselves, their countries, and our sport, they are undoubtedly among the best of the best in tennis and are most deserving of tennis’ ultimate honour.”