Super Mario isn’t only found in video games, the amazing character can also be seen in the sport of Tennis. Mario Ancic, fondly nicknamed Super Mario is a very talented tennis player which makes it understandable how the nickname was coined. At only age seven, Mario already began playing tennis and at the age of 10 he was already being coached by Goran Ivanisevic, a Croatian tennis champion. As Mario grew up, he became one of the top junior tennis players in the world just like his younger sister Sanja. Before turning pro, he ended his junior tennis career at the rank of no. 24.
Mario officially turned pro in the year 2001. His professional debut was held at Miami but he unfortunately lost to Adrian Voinea. Everybody would soon see Mario pick himself up and come back with such a force that it would cause a major upset in the world of tennis. At his Grand Slam debut in Wimbledon, Mario defeated no. 9 world ranked player Roger Federer. He might have lost his professional debut but was able to come back with a bang, being the first teenager to win on his Wimbledon debut.
The highlight of his career in 2004 happened again at Wimbledon when he defeated local crowd favorite Tim Henman. Unfortunately, he lost to Andy Roddick in the semi-finals. It was also in 2004 where Mario, together with Ivan Ljubicic represented Croatia in the Athens Olympics and brought home the bronze medal.
2005 was an even better year for Mario because it was during this year that he won his first ATP career title at s’Hertogenbosch after defeating defending champion, Michael Llodra. Yet another career highlight during this year was when Mario defeated Michal Mertinak in the Davis Cup, giving Croatia its first Davis Cup victory.
In 2006, Mario experienced many close wins but wasn’t enough to garner him and his country a fully recognized victory. His career during this year was also interrupted due to a knee injury. However, by the end of 2006, Mario made a comeback and was able to win his third career title at the St. Petersburg Open after defeating Thomas Johansson.