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Role models needed for Irish tennis star

Role models needed for Irish tennis star
Role models needed for Irish tennis star


Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanievi has said more role models are needed if Ireland is to produce an international tennis athlete.

The country needs “infrastructure” and more types of tennis courts, he added.

“You need male and female tennis players to inspire the children,” he said, adding that Ireland is a “sporting country”.

The Croatian was speaking at the Templeogue Tennis Club in Dublin, where he hosted a masterclass.

Speaking to junior tennis players at the club, he said: “It's an individual sport, you have to be focused.

“Tennis is a sport where you will have ups and downs and you always have to believe in what you are doing.

“You have to try, even if it's a bad day, and practice,” Ivanievi said.

“Practice, listen to your coach and believe in yourself and you will definitely get results,” he added.

Mr Ivanievi said he thinks the sport is “70% mental”.

Alanna Crean and John McGarvey were excited to meet Goran Ivanievi

“It's a mental battle on the field. That's why the best guys are the best, because they're mentally stronger,” he said.

Junior tennis player Alanna Crean said she was “a little nervous but very excited” to meet Mr Ivanievi.

Fellow junior tennis player John McGarvey was also nervous about meeting the Wimbledon winner.

Mr Ivanievi won the Grand Slam tournament in 2001 and said he still doesn't understand how he won it.

“When I was going to win in 1992 I was an absolute favorite against Andre Agassi, but I didn't… I was a wildcard, I was ranked 128th when I won, the atmosphere was great,” he said.

Last March, Ivanievi parted ways with Novak Djokovic after six years as his coach, saying he looks back on that time “with great fondness.”

“It was one of the greatest experiences. He is the best tennis payer in tennis history and it was a privilege and honor to be his coach,” he said.

Mr Ivanievi said “nothing special happened” and added: “It was time to part ways”.




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