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Ivanisevic Gets Boost From US Open Fans - 2001-08-30


The Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic - from Croatia - has satisfied his fans at the U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadow, New York Wednesday. He's through to round two along with the top seed from Brazil, Gustavo Kuerten.

This time last year, the appearance of Ivanisevic was little more than a sideshow. He lost in the first round, and talk was about possible retirement and a nagging shoulder injury. The injury is still there, but painkillers help and he will have an operation at the end of what has been a remarkable year.

Thousands turned out for his homecoming in Croatia after his amazing win at Wimbledon. A smaller number's been chanting his name as he defeated American youngster Hugo Armando in straight sets.

"I never saw so many people watching me first round you know," he says. " I said 'what's going on here?' So I was like 'Wow', and then I was very nervous. The crowd was great. The New York crowd, if they like you, you're really in good shape, if they don't like you then you're in big trouble! But they seem to like me and it's really great"

Ivanisevic'll play another home grown player in round two: Justin Gimelstob. Kuerten - another Grand Slam winner this year at the French - showed flashes of the brilliance that's made him world number one as he overcame Daniel Vacek of the Czech Republic in four sets.

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