Goran Ivanisevic has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and says he deserves the accolade despite all the ups and downs in his career.
Ivanisevic has become the first Croatian member of the elite sporting group after a career spanning 16 years in which he won 22 titles including two Masters and one Wimbledon crown.
The former world number two, who is now a key part of Novak Djokovic’s coaching team, says he feels national pride in being recognised in this way and says he always believed in himself.
“We are a small country with a huge heart,” Ivanisevic said of Croatia in his acceptance speech.
“We never stop believing. I had a lot of ups and downs, and I never stopped believing. For the first time in my life, I can say I am proud of myself.”
This year marks 20 years since Ivanisevic won the Wimbledon title after being runner-up three times before, and he remains the only man to win it as a wildcard entry.
“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 joked. “But one thing is for sure: it was entertaining to be my fan.
“We did it our different way, we did it our hard way, but we did it our way. But only I am going in. Guys, you can come and visit, but I am going in. I deserve it.”
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