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 »  Home  »  Sports  »  (E) 18-year-old Croatian Mario Ancic stuns Federer in Wimbledon
(E) 18-year-old Croatian Mario Ancic stuns Federer in Wimbledon
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  06/25/2002 | Sports | Unrated
(E) 18-year-old Croatian Mario Ancic stuns Federer in Wimbledon

 

MARIO ANČIĆ

By STEPHEN WILSON
.c The Associated Press 

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - An 18-year-old qualifier from Croatia shook up Wimbledon on 
Tuesday with the first major upset. Mario Ancic, ranked No. 154 and playing his first Grand Slam match, outplayed seventh-seed RogerFederer 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3 on Centre Court.

Fifteen minutes later, there was another upset when 71st-ranked Flavio Saretta of Brazil marked his 
Wimbledon debut by outlasting Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson, the eighth seed, 6-7 
(2), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 12-10.

Earlier Tuesday, Venus Williams opened her bid for a third straight Wimbledon title with a routine 
6-1, 6-1 Centre Court win over Jane O'Donoughue, a 344th-ranked British wild card playing her 
first tour-level match.

Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt, looking for his first Wimbledon crown, got off to a strong start with a 
6-4, 7-5, 6-1 win over Jonas Bjorkman.

Tim Henman, the bookies' favorite for the men's title, swept French qualifier Jean-Francois Bachelot 
6-1, 6-3, 6-2 as he began his latest attempt to become the first British male champion since Fred 
Perry in 1936.

No. 4 Monica Seles, No. 5 Kim Clijsters and No. 6 Justine Henin also advanced to the second round.

But the stars of the day were Ancic and Saretta.

Ancic drew immediate comparisons with Goran Ivanisevic, last year's champion who is back homein Croatia recovering after shoulder surgery.

Both men are from the Adriatic coastal city of Split, and the 6-foot-4 (193 c) Ancic is tall, skinny andlanky like Ivanisevic. While Ivanisevic is left-handed, the right-handed Ancic also has a boomingserve and plays serve-and-volley on grass.

``I had nothing to lose,'' Ancic said. ``I knew I can play, I'm young. I believe in myself, I just went out 
and tried to play.''

Ancic said he spoke by phone with Ivanisevic on Monday to discuss tactics for the match.

``He's always been good to me, sometimes I felt he was my bigger brother,'' Ancic said.

Federer reached the quarterfinals last year, ousting seven-time champion Pete Sampras in the 
fourth round, and has won two titles this year. But he was dominated by Ancic, the 
second-youngest player in the draw and playing only his second tour-level match of 2002.

A finalist at the Wimbledon juniors in 2000, Ancic broke Federer three times and lost his serve only 
once, hitting serves at an average speed of 120 mph and a fastest delivery of 127 mph

When Federer missed a passing shot to end the contest, Ancic pumped his fists and let out a scream. 
He then held up his arms to the crowd and belted a ball into the stands.

``I feel great,'' Ancic said. ``I cannot feel better I think.''

Asked whether he should be considered the new Ivanisevic, he said, ``No, Goran is Goran. He's 
unique. I'm Mario.''

Saretta, meanwhile, outdueled Johansson in 4 hours, 22 minutes on Court 18 in only the second 
grass-court match of his career. The fifth set alone lasted 97 minutes.

The Brazilian, who turns 22 on Friday, came in with a 2002 match record of 8-9. Johansson, who 
won his first Grand Slam title in Melbourne in January, had twice reached the fourth round at 
Wimbledon.

``It's probably the best match that I've played in my life,'' Saretta said.

On Court 1, fans wore Union Jack flags and hats, held up the red-and-white English flag of St. 
George and shouted `Come on, Tim!'' as No. 4 Henman beat the 165th-ranked Bachelot.

Henman, a semifinalist in three of the past four years, had only three unforced errors in the match 
and got a standing ovation as he left the court. He will face another qualifier in the second round 
and is projected to meet Hewitt in the semis.
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. 

Ivanisevic congratulates Ancic on his shock victory 

Goran Ivanisevic is celebrating after his neighbour, Mario Ancic, provided the biggest shock of 
Wimbledon so far. The Wimbledon champion was unable to defend his title, but watched Ancic beat seventh seedRoger Federer on television.

Ivanisevic and Ancic were born in the Firule district of Split. The 18-year-old is only the second Croat in history to qualify, afterIvanisevic. Ivanisevic said: "I was watching it on the television with everyone else in our street. I wouldimagine you could hear the cheering for miles when he won. It was a fantastic victory."

He had declined an offer of a special VIP ticket as a spectator at Wimbledon, saying if he could not play, it would be too upsetting to be atWimbledon. But his father Srdjan Ivanisevic was in a box at the Central Court together with Ancic's father andhis brother.


WIMBLEDON
Mario overshadows favourites' progress 
Posted Tue, 25 Jun 2002 

Teenage Croatian Mario Ancic, who plays, talks and even looks like last year's winner Goran 
Ivanisevic, followed in his countryman's footsteps on Tuesday by becoming an instant hit with the 
Wimbledon centre court crowd. 

The 18-year-old qualifier knocked out Switzerland's Roger Federer, the seventh seed, 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 
6-3 in a match which overshadowed the smooth progress into the second round of Australia's 
Lleyton Hewitt and Britain's Tim Henman, the joint favourites for the Wimbledon title.

Ancic, who now meets Jan Vacek of the Czech Republic for a place in the third round, said he had 
even taken tips from Ivanisevic, who was prevented by injury from defending his title, on how to 
approach his first ever main draw match at the All England Club. 

"It's the greatest match of my life," said the teenager. "I was a qualifier, I had nothing to lose. I just 
wanted to do my best," added Ancic who said he spoke to Ivanisevic on Monday. 

"I talked to him about tactics here. He told me to stay away from Roger's forehand and to pressure 
the second serve. He is a great man. We are from the same town, Split, and he is like a big brother to 
me." 

It was a desperate result for Federer, considered as an outside chance to win the title this year 
having knocked out seven-time winner Pete Sampras in the fourth round last year. 

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