Ivanisevic was a high ranked tennis player in the 1990’s, he won 22 trophies, out of which one holds a particularly special taste: Wimbledon. Ivanisevic had lost three previous Wimbledon finals and seemed destined to miss out on glory at the All England Club, given he had struggled with a shoulder injury earlier in 2001 and contemplated retirement. His ranking of 125th wasn’t even high enough to land direct entry into the tournament.
However Wimbledon gave Ivanisevic a wildcard, and he proceeded to work his way through the draw with a little help from Wimbledon’s famed and all too frequent rain gods.
Ivanisevic was booked 150 – 1 from the bookmakers, but incredibly he topped Andy Roddick, Greg Rusedski, Marat Safin and Tim Henman.
“It was an unsolved mystery how I won, but I felt after the second round that I was going to succeed,” Ivanisevic said. “I could not say it loud because they would think I was completely nuts.”
In the previous three finals he made numerous unforced errors and even this time, against the australian Patrick Rafter, he hit two double-faults and a third missed chance at a match point before finally getting his ticket to victory, the only wildcard in history to bag the men’s title at the noted SW19 postcode.
“It was written somewhere that it was my time. Why to do things the easy way if you can do it the hard way? It’s the story of my life”
When he came back to his city, 150.000 supporters (yes, 150 thousand) were waiting for him, proof of his great achievement.
#resilience #nevergiveup #getval