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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Classic Matches: Ivanisevic v Rafter
2001 - Men's Singles Final
G Ivanisevic (Cro) bt P Rafter (Aus) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7

Goran Ivanisevic

Goran Ivanisevic took his first Wimbledon title at the fourth attempt with a pulsating five-set win over Pat Rafter on Centre Court.

The Croat only made it to the tournament after being granted a wild card, but he ended up winning one of the great Grand Slam finals.

Rain delays meant this was the first time a final had begun on the third Monday, and gave many spectators a rare chance to snap up tickets at the last minute.

The crowd provided a raucous backdrop, with enthusiastic cheers for every point in a match which lasted almost exactly three hours.

Ivanisevic had easily held his serve as he took the first set, only for his Australian opponent to draw level.

The Croat looked in trouble as his left shoulder stiffened up and he called for the doctor in the third set, yet he carried on to take a 2-1 sets advantage.

Just as Ivanisevic finally seemed bound for victory after suffering three final defeats in the 1990s, Rafter fought back.

As the fourth set slipped away, Ivanisevic lost his cool when unhappy with two calls. He slammed his racquet to the ground, kicked the net and swore at the umpire.

Rafter looked the favourite going into the final set, but Ivanisevic's game held firm.

After a few scares, he eventually served out for a famous victory which earned him a rapturous welcome from more than 100,000 people when he returned to his hometown of Split.



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