Goran Ivanišević: The Journey from Champ to Coach


Goran Ivanišević was born on September 13, 1971, in Split, Croatia (then part of Yugoslavia). His tennis career began at an early age, and he quickly gained recognition for his powerful serve and aggressive style of play. As a junior, Ivanišević was successful, paving the way for his entry into the professional circuit in the late 1980s.

Rise to Prominence

In 1990, Ivanišević’s talent became evident when he reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon at the age of 18. This early success set the stage for a promising career, and over the next few years, he would become one of the most exciting players to watch on the ATP Tour. Known for his unpredictable nature and on-court theatrics, Ivanišević’s matches often attracted large crowds.

Wimbledon Triumph: The Historic 2001 Victory

Despite his talent, Ivanišević was known for his inconsistency, often struggling with the mental aspect of the game. However, in 2001, he made history by winning the Wimbledon Championships. This victory was unique because he entered the tournament as a wildcard, making him the first—and to date, only—player to win Wimbledon as a wildcard entry. His win over Patrick Rafter in the final was an emotional rollercoaster, captivating tennis fans around the world.

Ivanišević’s Wimbledon win was also significant because he had previously reached the final three times (1992, 1994, and 1998) but lost on each occasion. His 2001 victory was a story of perseverance and resilience, and it remains one of the most memorable moments in tennis history.

Playing Style and Achievements

Ivanišević was known for his booming left-handed serve, which became his trademark. He was capable of delivering serves exceeding 140 mph, and his serve-and-volley game made him a formidable opponent on grass courts. Throughout his career, Ivanišević won a total of 22 singles titles and 9 doubles titles, achieving a career-high singles ranking of No. 2 in 1994.

Retirement and Transition to Coaching

Ivanišević retired from professional tennis in 2004 but remained active in the sport. He transitioned to coaching and became a mentor to younger players, sharing his expertise and experience. In recent years, Ivanišević’s coaching career has garnered significant attention due to his association with high-profile players.

Coaching Novak Djokovic: A Successful Partnership

One of the most notable aspects of Ivanišević’s coaching career is his role as a coach for Novak Djokovic, one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Ivanišević joined Djokovic’s coaching team in 2019 and has since played a significant role in Djokovic’s continued success.

Under Ivanišević’s guidance, Djokovic has achieved remarkable milestones, including multiple Grand Slam victories. Ivanišević’s experience as a Wimbledon champion and his deep understanding of the game have contributed to Djokovic’s success on various surfaces, particularly grass and hard courts.

Legacy and Impact

Goran Ivanišević’s impact on tennis extends beyond his playing career. His 2001 Wimbledon victory remains a source of inspiration for many aspiring players, proving that perseverance and determination can lead to success.

As a coach, Ivanišević’s insights and strategic approach have helped shape the careers of top players, solidifying his status as a respected figure in the tennis world.


Q: Who is Goran Ivanisevic?

A: Ivanisevic is a Croatian former tennis player (1988-2004) and current coach. He’s best known for his:

  • Unforgettable Wimbledon win: In 2001, as a wildcard ranked a lowly 125th, he became the only player to win the prestigious Wimbledon singles title as a wildcard, defeating Patrick Rafter in a thrilling five-set final.
  • Wimbledon runner-up legacy: Before his historic win, Ivanisevic was a familiar face at Wimbledon finals, having finished runner-up an incredible three times (1992, 1994, 1998).
  • Powerful serve: Nicknamed “Boom Boom” for a reason, Ivanisevic held the record for most aces served at Wimbledon (1,377) for nearly two decades, before Roger Federer surpassed it in 2019.
  • Coaching success: After retirement, Ivanisevic transitioned to coaching, guiding Marin Cilic to his US Open victory in 2014 and Novak Djokovic to several titles, including Grand Slams, from 2019 to 2024.

Q: What is Goran Ivanisevic’s highest ranking?

A: Ivanisevic reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world in July 1994.

Q: When did Goran Ivanisevic retire?

A: Ivanisevic hung up his racquet in 2004.

Q: Who is Goran Ivanisevic coaching now?

A: As of April 2024, Ivanisevic recently parted ways with Novak Djokovic and is looking to coach new players.

Q: Is Goran Ivanisevic in the Hall of Fame?

A: Absolutely! He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2020.

Q: Where can I see highlights of Goran Ivanisevic’s matches?

A: A treasure trove of his matches, including the iconic 2001 Wimbledon final, can be found on YouTube.

Q: What are some interesting facts about Goran Ivanisevic?

A: Here are some lesser-known tidbits:

  • Ivanisevic won a bronze medal in both singles and doubles at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, representing Croatia.
  • He served as Croatia’s flagbearer at the 1992 Olympics opening ceremony.
  • In a unique feat, he won four consecutive five-set matches to claim the singles bronze medal in Barcelona.


Goran Ivanišević’s journey from a young tennis prodigy in Croatia to a Wimbledon champion and successful coach is a remarkable story of passion, perseverance, and success.

Whether on the court as a player or on the sidelines as a coach, Ivanišević’s contributions to tennis continue to resonate with fans and players alike. His legacy serves as a testament to the enduring power of the sport and the individuals who dedicate their lives to it.

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Jyoti Kumari

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