Born on September 13, 1971, Goran Ivanišević is a former pro tennis player from Croatia. His greatest claim to fame is winning the 2001 singles title in Wimbledon as a wildcard, the first player to ever do so. born in Croatia, Goran Ivanišević turned pro in 1988, winning his first doubles title that same year. He initiallyfaced Boris Becker multiple times, first during the first round of the men’s singles of the 1990 French Open. He again faced Becker a few weeks later in Wimbledon but went down after four sets. He won his first tour singles title later that year in Stuttgart and was also instrumental in Yugoslavia’s victory at the World Cup.
Known for his strong attacks and for his powerful serves, Ivanišević was also known for his on-court temper tantrums. He reached the Wimbledon singles final in 1992 where he faced Andre Agassi before bowing to Agassi with a score of 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. As compensation he upped his performance at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, winning bronze in singles and doubles for newly-independent Croatia. He reached the Wimbledon finals for the second time in 1994, bowing out to Pete Sampras after three sets. However, it was during this year that he reached his career-high ranking at world no. 2. He again faced Sampras in his third Wimbledon final in 1998, losing after five sets.
Summer of 2001 saw Ivanišević ranking at a low no. 125. , which was not enough for him to earn an automatic place in Wimbledon. However, due to his record he was given a wildcard entry, which he used to power up to reach the finals to the surprise of many. He faced Patrick Rafter in the finals and after three hours and one minute, Ivanišević emerged the winner, bagging his first ever Wimbledon title with a score of 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7. This success was so extraordinary because it was won by a lowest-ranked player who entered the competition as a wildcard.