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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Becker: Hard times for Goran

By Boris Becker
BBC Sport expert at Wimbledon

Goran Ivanisevic milks the applause of the crowd after his final match on Centre Court

Goran Ivanisevic faces a very emotional time after ending his career on Centre Court.

He wasn't able to defend his title last year and he has struggled to get his body back together.

The fact that he made it to Wimbledon this year and got to the third round was a great bonus, and a dream finish to a spectacular career.

Slowly it starts to sink in that you have played your last match as a professional.

You have played tennis all your life and suddenly you think "this is it". There is no turning back.

There is no practice any more, there is not going to be another Wimbledon next year. It is going to be quite a time for him.

The first time I came back here after I retired I was desperate to get the shorts back on again and get out there on Centre Court!

You have been playing since you were five or six years old and tennis is the only thing you have been doing continuously for the last 25 years.

When that is taken away from you, it is a hard moment.

In other professions people work until they are 65 or 70, but we are still in the prime of our lives when we stop playing.

I hope Greg Rusedski's going to turn up one more year, but I'm not sure
You are 35 or even younger and suddenly you find yourself asking "what am I going to do now?"

I will be very interested to see what Goran Ivanisevic is going to do next.

Greg Rusedski also has to contemplate how much longer he wants to keep on playing.

I said a few days ago that this could be his last Wimbledon. He won in the first round after a long wait which was great but it was to be expected that he had a difficult match with Rainer Schuettler.

Greg had the chance to win and played a super match in the first three sets.

But he lost his serve in the middle of the fourth set and he wasn't the same player any more.

His body has been breaking down for a while and that was the story again, but he didn't do any major damage and he can hold his head up high.

In my opinion Greg is going to think really hard about his tennis future. I hope he's going to turn up one more year, but I'm not sure.

Boris Becker was speaking on BBC television.




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