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IVANISEVIC'S FIGHT
FOR CROATIA


By Mehmet Varinli

 

Goran Ivanisevic is one of the best tennis players in the world. Many people believe that he can beat any player. He is from Croatia and at every opportunity he is trying to support his country on international grounds. He is a millionaire at 22.

Ivanisevic is from a town called Split. His family has lived in Split for over 600 years working in the vineyards. He started playing tennis in Tennis Club Split when he was forced to play at 7. He was a great soccer and basketball player as well as a cross-country champion. He then entered a full time tennis school in Zagreb. In 1991, Ivanisevic has stepped into the top ten tennis players in the world and as the war started in Croatia, these were the hard days for Ivanisevic. Although fighting has not reached Split all the phone lines to Croatia were dead and during the time he had to play in international tournaments. He was struggling with his game because not being able to reach his family has affected him a lot.

 

After this time he decided to use his tennis to fight for his country. He was saying " My racket is my gun ". He has convinced the ATP to list him as Croatian instead of Yugoslav. He started to wear cloths that had messages like 'Stop aggression against Croatia'. His next chance to merge politics and tennis came with the Olympics, where he carried a Croatian flag and won his countries first medal even if it was only a bronze.

He is now in US trying to make sense of his nation's unreal calm. He believes US is the only country that can help. He said "Nobody else. They have to go there and stop this. Otherwise it can go on forever ...We can fight forever. "

 

"Two Faces of Goran ", The New York Times, August 24, 1992.

 

 

 

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