player Goran Ivanisevic’s victory at Wimbledon this week was a surprise
to everybody as he hadn’t even qualified for the tournament through
the normal processes. Nicholas Woods reports on the massive reaction
to the win in his home country of Croatia.
tennis critics across the world most Croats had written off
Goran Ivanisevic. It was with some surprise then that people greeted
his entry into the Wimbledon finals. The news was big enough to
merit a picture on the front pages of several newspapers.
This has been all the more surprising at a time when most headlines
have been dominated by a political crisis prompted by
a government decision to hand over war crime suspects to
the UN tribunal in the Hague. For several hours though most Croats
forgot about politics. They’ve been glued to their television
and bars have been filled with enthusiasts who’ve never shown
much interest in tennis and finally when the outsiderclinched
his final set the reaction could be heard across the city. Cars have
been tooting their horns and people have been setting off fire
So distracted was one driver listening to his radio he crashed
his car at a Zagreb traffic junction. Now Goran Ivanisevic
is guaranteed to be remembered as a national hero.