When Rain and Drama Unleashed: The Epic Henman vs. Ivanisevic Wimbledon Battle

Goran Ivanisevic ousted Tim Henman in an epic Wimbledon 2001 semi-final

by Jovica Ilic
When Rain and Drama Unleashed: The Epic Henman vs. Ivanisevic Wimbledon Battle

Tim Henman reached four Wimbledon semi-finals, losing them to Pete Sampras, Goran Ivanisevic and Lleyton Hewitt. After two defeats to Sampras, Tim met Goran in the 2001 semi-final and made it memorable! The Croat halted the home favorite in a 7-5, 6-7, 0-6, 7-6, 6-3 thriller that took everything away from the Briton!

We saw real drama from start to finish, with 137 service winners, rain delays, and only five breaks of serve. Henman somehow missed a chance to break the spell and reach the final at the home Major despite holding the strings of the match firmly in his hands.

Goran had break points in just three return games. However, he did enough to overcome a dreadful third set (he won four points in total in six games!) and get back into contention, saved by the rain at that point. Tim hit fewer winners and unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely but failing to make one last push.

The Briton had the advantage in the more advanced rallies, with not much separating them in the shortest range up to four strokes.

Goran Ivanisevic prevailed over Tim Henman after three days at Wimbledon 2001.

Ivanisevic saved a break point in the encounter's fifth game with an ace and held his best returns for the 12th game.

He landed three return winners in a row to wrap up the opener 7-5 and gain a boost. Goran denied three break points in the second set's ninth game, and it went into a tie break. The Briton forced the Croat's mistake at 6-6 and landed a forehand volley winner to clinch the set and level the overall score.

Ivanisevic faded from the court in set number three, taking just four points and welcoming a much-needed break in the fourth set after a faithful rain delay. They could not return to court that day, which saved Goran! He returned fresh and motivated on Saturday, eager to play much better and challenge the home favorite.

The Croat denied a break point in the eighth game with a forehand volley winner and landed two aces to bring the game home. Henman saved two break points in the 11th game, and Ivanisevic added four winners a few minutes later to introduce a tie break, a must-win one for him.

Goran forced Tim's mistake with a good return at 6-5 to wrap up the set and introduce a decider. The rain sent them off the court again, shifting the final set action to Sunday, with Goran leading 3-2 in the fifth. Henman cracked under pressure and lost serve in the eighth game on Goran's third break chance.

Thus, world no. 125 moved 5-3 in front and held after deuce with two winners in game nine to seal the deal and reach his fourth Wimbledon final out of nowhere!

Wimbledon Goran Ivanisevic Tim Henman