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  Monday, 9 July, 2001, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Ivanisevic passes final hurdle
Goran Ivanisevic lifts the trophy while Pat Rafter looks on
Goran savours that winning feeling at Wimbledon
By BBC Sport Online's Saj Chowdhury at Wimbledon

Goran Ivanisevic could not believe he had won Wimbledon after completing an epic victory over Pat Rafter.

"I think I'm dreaming. I don't think anybody's going to wake me up," said Ivanisevic.

"It was great to touch the trophy. I don't care whether I win another match again."

Ivanisevic battled through five sets in front of an ecstatic Centre Court crowd, with the decider going to 9-7.

The Croatian explained how he felt after Rafter struck his second serve into the net to hand the victory.


I've never enjoyed the Wimbledon final so much
Goran Ivanisevic
"My career flashed through my mind from the very first final at Wimbledon.

"I didn't know where to go but saw my father and coach and climbed over to them."

He then went on to explain to the gathering media how he could now rest in peace if he was to retire from tennis.

"I was always second. People respected me, but second place was not good enough," he said.

"I am now the champion of Wimbledon, whatever I do in my life I will always be Wimbledon champion.

"I can't wait to come back next year on the first Monday to defend my title. Whether I win or lose I just want to have that feeling."

As regards to the incident in the sixth game of the fourth set, Ivanisevic was far from apologetic.

Rafter lost in the final for the second straight year
Rafter lost in the final for the second straight year
"I made my first foot fault of the tournament then I was given out when I thought my second serve was on the line."

But that tantrum now pales into insignificance for the player who thought that it was the best final he had ever played in.

"The atmosphere was too good, so many Australian fans and Croatians. I've never enjoyed the Wimbledon final so much," he said.

"I think 100,000 to 150,000 wil be waiting for me in Split, when I go back on Wednesday."

And with 500,000 to play with, Goran said he would have to think long and hard as regards what to do with the money.

"I've always wanted a new car or a boat but I have never before deserved the money. I think maybe I will buy something special to remember this win by."

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