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  Monday, 9 July, 2001, 22:28 GMT 23:28 UK
Lloyd's Wimbledon review
Goran Ivanisevic celebrates a memorable victory against Pat Rafter
Goran held nerve at the end of an "unbelievable" final
BBC commentator and former British number one John Lloyd reflects on a momentous men's final that capped a great Wimbledon 2001.

I don't know how to explain Goran Ivanisevic's win.

He has had a terrible two years, an awful Queen's, he comes through that roller-coaster of a semi-final with Tim Henman.

He goes bonkers in the fourth set against Pat Rafter, serves two doubles on championship point before finally winning an unbelievable final.

It has to be one of the most amazing tennis stories ever.

On top of which I've never seen a crowd like it and it was certainly the best ever atmosphere at a Wimbledon final.

They were going bonkers as well and we should have that every year, but unfortunately I don't think we'll see anything like that again.

Srdjan Ivanisevic and his son Goran with the men's trophy
A proud father with son Goran and trophy

The crowd must have given both players a huge lift and it helps explain why they were playing phenomenal tennis.

And at the levels at which they were playing you only get one chance in the set.

In the fifth, Pat had his one big chance at 7-6 when he had love-30 on Goran's serve.

Goran was a bit shaky and he sent down a second serve that was good but one that Pat could have done something with but...

He didn't, Goran's serves came good again and that was Pat's chance gone.

Then it was Goran's turn.

Pat missed two or three first serves and Goran belted some winners and that was it - he kept his nerve a fraction longer.

But I'm still at a loss to explain his rejuvenation and he has re-written the age-old formula that you've got to be match hardened-to win a Grand Slam title.

The flip side of the final is the Pat Rafter story, and I have a feeling that that may be the last we see of him at Wimbledon.

Tim Henman waves goodbye after losing to Ivanisevic
Llloyd believes Henman will be back to win

If he had won it would have been a huge motivation for him to carry on and defend his title but as it is, that may be time for him.

It would be a terrible shame if that were the case and I would hate to see him leave the game as he is one of the greats.

He's a great guy who knows his tennis history and is proud to be a part of it - the word for him is class.

Someone I'm more confident of seeing in a Wimbledon final and winning it is Tim Henman.

For three days he had the whole of Britain wondering whether he would make the final - everyone was on a knife-edge.

Following his defeat, the saga continues.

Although the right man won in the end, I'm still convinced that but for the rain Tim would have made the final - he was the better player against Goran.

Those three guys were the big stories at Wimbledon but there were other highlights before the final days.

Pete Sampras lost his aura at Wimbledon 2001, and although you would be a fool to write him off, the other players will not fear him so much next year.

That band of players will obviously include Roger Federer, who inflicted the damage this year but there were hints from the younger generation that they will prove quite a threat in 12 months.

Goran Ivanisevic salutes his adoring fans at Wimbledon
Ivanisevic salutes his adoring fans

Players like Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Taylor Dent are not quite the finished article yet but give them time.

But in looking back at Wimbledon there is no getting away from the final few days.

I thought the final would be an anti-climax following Tim's run but it proved to be a great, great match.

In such an emotional match, with so many dramas and the crowd's continual chanting, you get lost in it and it's hard to have a real perspective, but my initial reaction is that it was one of the great finals.

There weren't many long rallies but the quality of both Goran and Pat was phenomenal and the drama only added to it.

And then to see the absolute joy of someone, who if he had not won would never have won a Grand Slam title, was fantastic.

He was crying on match point and then served two doubles, as only Goran could do, before coming through to win and cap a great tournament with a great match and a great moment.

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See also:

09 Jul 01 | Wimbledon 2001
06 Jul 01 | Wimbledon 2001
08 Jul 01 | Wimbledon 2001
Links to more Expert views stories are at the foot of the page.


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