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Ivanisevic heads for 3rd round at Wimbledon shirtless |

Ivanisevic heads for 3rd round at Wimbledon shirtless

The Associated Press
| Friday, June 25, 2004 12:00 p.m

WIMBLEDON, England – Goran Ivanisevic flung his racket into the crowd, triumphantly raised his arms and then stripped off his shirt and launched it, too.

In a scene reminiscent of his celebration as an improbable Wimbledon champion in 2001, Ivanisevic basked in his latest achievement at the All England Club _ a second-round victory Thursday over Filippo Volandri, 4-6, 7-6 (8), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“I wanted to throw the chair, the umpire, everybody,” Ivanisevic said. “But you don’t do that, you know.”

The 32-year-old Croat is back at Wimbledon for the first time since he won the title as a wild-card entry three years ago. He’ll return to Centre Court for the first time since the 2001 final when he plays 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt on Friday.

Ivanisevic missed the past two Wimbledons with injuries, mostly shoulder related, and plans to retire after the tournament. He has won nine consecutive matches at Wimbledon, equaling defending champion Roger Federer’s winning streak.

Ivanisevic, who often talks of his multiple personalities, said he needed at least three of them to beat Volandri.

“I was saying a lot of bad things to myself. How bad I am• How stupid I am?” Ivanisevic said. During a brief rain delay in the fourth set, 1991 Wimbledon champion Michael Stich _ now working for the BBC _ helped Ivanisevic refocus.

“Stich came to me and said, ‘Listen, I’m commentating the match. C’mon man, do something!'” Ivanisevic said. “After I came back, that was a different me on the court. Sun was shining. I started to play better, and that’s why I won.

“If rain didn’t come, I thought probably I would lose.”

Ivanisevic said he hasn’t taken a set off Hewitt in their previous two matches on grass.

“He’s the favorite, for sure,” he said. “But you know, with me you never know. When I have my day, then I can be dangerous.”


Jennifer Capriati is thinking about rotating coaches at Grand Slam events.

She’s working with former U.S. Davis Cup captain Tom Gullikson at Wimbledon after ending her brief stint with Heinz Gunthardt. He helped her reach the semifinals of the French Open, but Capriati said she’s off to a good start with Gullikson.

“He’s very relaxing,” she said. “He’s just mellow, doesn’t stress about things, just kind of keeps everything light and fun.”

Between majors, Capriati’s father, Stefano, will continue to guide her training.

Rotating coaches “wouldn’t be a bad idea, just at the big tournaments,” said Capriati, 28. “I think I’ll be going more and more to these tournaments by myself and trying that out.

“When I’m home, I work out with my dad still. It’s not as if I need a lot of coaching.”

She’s been coached mostly by her father since making her first WTA Tour final at age 13.


Sidelined for almost 12 months by a left foot injury, Monica Seles plans to take her comeback in small steps.

Her first matches will be in World Team Tennis competition next month.

“I’m just thrilled to be stepping back on court because I’ve waited for that moment for such a long time,” she said. “I’m very anxious to get back.”

Seles, 30, said the long absence had tested her love for the game.

She contemplated retiring, but wanted to give it one more shot.

“I had to be realistic when I was in a cast, because I didn’t know what to expect or what rehab would entail,” she said. “Either way, I’m so happy with how my career has gone, but I still would like to try and play. I look at is as a win-win situation.”

Seles, a former No. 1 and nine-time Grand Slam singles champion, was sidelined for 27 months after being stabbed by a spectator at a tournament in Germany in April, 1993. Since that comeback, she has only one Grand Slam title.


Todd Martin enhanced his reputation Thursday as a marathon man.

Martin, 33, improved to 23-16 in Grand Slam five-set matches by beating Guillermo Canas 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1), 4-6, 9-7. The match took 3 hours, 43 minutes.

He faces 12th-seeded Sjeng Schalken in the second round Friday.

Martin is 2-1 in five-set results this year, winning one and losing one at the Australian Open in January.

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