‘Emotional’ Goran Ivanisevic reacts to being inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame

Former world No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic delivered an emotional speech after becoming the first Croatian to get inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

“We are a small country with a huge heart. We never stop believing. I had a lot of ups and downs, and I never stopped believing,” Ivanisevic said, per the ATP website. “For the first time in my life, I can say I am proud of myself.”

Ivanisevic, 49, acknowledged that 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 received a wildcard and the rest is history. 

20 years ago, Ivanisevic become the first player to win Wimbledon as a wildcard. 

After winning Wimbledon, Ivanisevic said there were three Gorans: Good Goran, Bad Goran and Emergency Goran.

“To the three Gorans, five Gorans, to every Goran in this world, you guys made me proud,” Ivanisevic said. “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.”

Ivanisevic grateful to the Wimbledon organizers 

Ivanisevic captured his first and lone Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2001. 

Ivanisevic finished his career 22 titles but the Wimbledon one was absolutely the most important. 

“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.”