Goran Ivanisevic: 'Pete Sampras ruined my life'

Tennis - The former Croatian player recalls highs and lows of his career

by Luigi Gatto
SHARE
Goran Ivanisevic: 'Pete Sampras ruined my life'

In an interview to Il Sole 24 Ore Italian Magazine, Goran Ivanisevic took a step back and recalled his Amazing career. He knows well what's his greatest Memory: 'My Life wouldn't be the same if I hadn't won 2001 Wimbledon', Goran admitted.

'Someone told me that in sports the most important thing is to play, but it's not true. Does someone remember who lost finals? Until that Monday I was the eternal second, with three silver plates. I don't remember those damn finals either, despite I played them.

Now instead,16 years after, people still stop me on the street and recall that 16th game of the fifth set.' He had lived the best day of his sports life, but soon he dropped physically: 'The shoulder was hurting me so much that after every match I could not lift my arm.

I underwent surgery in 2002 and I have not been playing for a year and a half. I came back but it was very painful. So I retired. I was just 32, I felt lost, I didn't know what to do in my life. All the stress I was used to wasn't there anymore.

Luckily my daughter was born in 2003. Being father saved me.' His greatest rival was Pete Sampras, who beat him 12 times on 18 matches played. 'Sampras ruined my life. I like Pete: he is a great champion and a good guy. But I lost many semifinals and finals to him! I hate him from a sports point of view.' His fighting spirit and mentality were the key to succeed: 'The first time I denied an odd was when I was 12 with my father.

We were playing on a court outside Split. There was much competition between us. He was provoking me all the time, he knew how to make me nervous. I was playing against everyone and I learned from everyone.' ALSO READ: Goran Ivanisevic: 'You've to kill Roger Federer 77 times to win'

Goran Ivanisevic Pete Sampras
SHARE