Goran Ivanišević and Pat Rafter to Replay 2001 Wimbledon Final in Umag

Daniela Rogulj

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Eighteen years after the 2001 Wimbledon final where one of the greatest Croatian athletes reach his most significant career triumph, Goran Ivanišević and Patrick Rafter will play against each other once again in Umag’s Stella Maris for the 30th edition of the ATP Plava Laguna Croatia Open, reports Gol.hr on February 25, 2019. 

It was Monday, July 9, 2001, when Goran Ivanišević and Patrick Rafter met in one of the most emotional and exciting Wimbledon finals. It was a time before the moving roof was constructed at the All England Club central stadium, when the rain made the Ivanašević and Tim Henman semi-final a three-day spectacle, and the Sunday finals shifted to Monday.

Fans waited for hours to get a chance to see the two big players on the court. The final lasted three hours and two minutes, which is precisely when Rafter hit the net on Ivanišević’s second service. Goran incredulously collapsed onto the holy Wimbledon grass. In his fourth Wimbledon final, Goran managed to win the decisive, fifth set with 9-7 and thus win his only and much-desired Grand Slam title.


The legendary Australian tennis player suffered his second consecutive defeat in the Wimbledon final, after losing in four sets to American player Pete Sampras the year before. Although he never won Wimbledon, he did achieve two Grand Slam titles at the US Open.

In 2016, 15 years after the triumph over Rafter, the ATP stadium in Umag was named after Goran Ivanišević. Patrick Rafter was also honoured similarly in 2008, when a tennis center in Brisbane was named the Pat Rafter Arena. In July this year, these two tennis legends will have the chance to meet again, at the Goran Ivanišević Stadium, which has welcomed the biggest names in international tennis over the past three decades.

The tournament will be held from July 12 to 21, 2019. The traditional exhibition match between Ivanišević and Rafter will be held on Wednesday, July 17.

Goran Ivanišević will share his impressions about the 2001 Wimbledon rematch and memories of July 9, 2001, and other events that will make the 30th edition of the Umag ATP tournament, with media representatives in Zagreb.

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