Former world No. 1 John McEnroe was a big fan of Goran Ivanisevic back in the day. On Sunday, former world No. 2 Ivanisevic became the first Croatian to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Former seven-time Grand Slam champion McEnroe was present during the Ivanisevic induction.
“I love Goran Ivanisevic, and I am absolutely thrilled to induct someone into the Hall of Fame who is arguably crazier on the court than I was,” McEnroe said, as quoted on the ATP website. “But here’s the truth: He’s been great for the sport of tennis, certainly has personality.
Yes he’s a character, yes he had serious game. He’s lefty, I like that. He’s super-talented”.
McEnroe was always entertained by Ivanisevic
“He always had me on the edge of my seat because I never knew what was going to happen next, and I’m not sure he did either,” McEnroe said.
“But his unpredictability was also partly why we loved him”. Ivanisevic, who captured 22 titles during his career, acknowledged it wasn't easy being his fan. “It was not easy to be my fan. It was frustrating, it was sad, probably a lot of people got divorced because of me,” Ivanisevic said.
“But one thing is for sure: it was entertaining to be my fan”. In 2001, Ivanisevic was out of the top-100 but the Wimbledon organizers gave him a wildcard for The Championships. The rest is absolute history as Ivanisevic went on to became the first player ever to win Wimbledon as a wildcard.
“I would like to thank the Wimbledon committee for giving me a wild card,” Ivanisevic said. “I don’t know if they did a good job or not, or if they now regret it. But thank you guys, because if you didn’t give me a wild card, I wouldn’t be standing here. I think it was a good decision”.