Ivanisevic looking for wild cards to win World Cup
May 23, 2002
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) The first wild-card entrant to win Wimbledon,
Croatian tennis ace Goran Ivanisevic is placing his money on an outsider
to win soccer's World Cup too.
"The World Cup will be won by a non-favorite this time," Ivanisevic, who
is convalescing from a shoulder operation in his home town of Split on
the Adriatic coast, told the daily Sportske Novosti on Thursday.
"I don't think France will repeat their success. I think we could do
well again or maybe Portugal or even Cameroon," the lanky Croat said. "I
wouldn't wage more than 500 euros (dlrs 450) though."
Tradition is not on Ivanisevic's side. Only seven teams have won the
World Cup in its 72-year history, with powerhouses Brazil (4), Italy
(3), Germany (3) and Argentina (2) taking 12 of the 16 titles. Uruguay
has won two, and France and England one each.
Commenting on his shoulder, the 31-year-old Ivanisevic said that he had
never felt so useless in his life.
"All my life I have never relied on anyone. Now I can't even go to the
toilet without assistance," the strong-serving Croat joked. "This is a
new beginning now, but I certainly won't quit in my comeback to the
Ivanisevic, who stunned the world by becoming the first wild-card player
to win Wimbledon in a dramatic final against Australian Patrick Rafter
last year, underwent surgery on his left rotator cuff in a clinic in
Heidelberg, Germany, last week. His rehabilitation is expected to last
another 12 weeks before he can swing his racket with full force.
"I didn't undergo surgery because of the pain. I underwent surgery
because I wanted to play tennis as long as it continues to provide me
with such great pleasure.
"Luckily, the World Cup is on and I can rest in front of the television
screen," he added.
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