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  Sunday, 9 December, 2001, 20:21 GMT
Goran fulfils his destiny
Goran Ivanisevic kisses the Wimbledon trophy
It took four finals before Ivanisevic won the title
Croatian tennis player Goran Ivanisevic won the BBC's 2001 Overseas Sports Personality of the Year thanks to an emotional win at Wimbledon.

Goran Ivanisevic became the first wildcard winner of Wimbledon when he beat Pat Rafter in a thrilling five-set final.

The Croat had lost three finals before, but this time he held his nerve to clinch the title he had dreamed about since childhood.

Because of rain, the July final was played on a Monday and as a result the atmosphere was electric.

Hundreds of fans who would not normally have been able to get tickets packed out centre court.

  Goran's route to glory
Rd 1 beat F Jonsson (Swe) 6-4 6-4 6-4
Rd 2 (21) C Moya (Spa) 6(6)-7(8) 6-3 6-4 6-4
Rd 3 bt A Roddick (USA) 7(7)-6(5) 7-5 3-6 6-3
Rd 4 bt G Rusedski (GB) 7(7)-6(5) 6-4 6-4
Q/F bt (4) M Safin (Rus) 7(7)-6(2) 7-5 3-6 7(7)-6(3)
S/F bt (6) T Henman (GB) 7-5 6(6)-7(8) 0-6 7(7)-6(5) 6-3
F bt (3) P Rafter (Aus) 3-6 6-3 6-3 2-6 9-7

Despite his grass-court game and good record on the SW19 lawns, Ivanisevic entered the tournament as a massive outsider.

However, he put together a sequence of fine performances.

And even when he was not at his best, Lady Luck looked kindly on the tempestuous Croat.

In his epic three-day semi-final against Tim Henman he looked to be on his way out, but the elements intervened.

And when the players returned to the court to finish their match, Henman was blown away in a matter of minutes.

In the final, Ivanisevic was up against the popular Australian Rafter, back for a second year running.

The match was a classic, with Ivanisevic twice leading by a set, only for Rafter to level matters.

Ivanisevic finally took the title 9-7 in the fifth, but even then he had to fight back tears before finally clinching victory.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic
"I was very happy to get the wild card"

Beckham honour

The 2001 show

Winners profiled

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THE NIGHT IN PICTURES

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