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Ivanisevic concentrates on game Yugoslav won't talk about politics


WIMBLEDON, England -- Goran Ivanisevic of Yugoslavia discussed his fractured country and his fabulous serve.

Politics and civil war, he can't control. But the serve is his weapon of choice in a bid to become a Wimbledon champion.

Yesterday, the No. 10 seed Ivanisevic defeated Andrew Castle of Great Britain, 7-6, 7-6, 6-2. The first-round triumph came only hours after Yugoslav government troops moved into Slovenia to crush an uprising.

"For me, it's OK; I'm just concentrating on tennis," Ivanisevic said. "I'm not here to think about politics. I'm here to think about tennis."

Ivanisevic's tennis is going very well, thank you. He had 25 aces in the match that stretched across two days.

"I was going for my record," he said. "I had 23 aces in the French lTC Open last year against [Boris] Becker. I feel very confident. Especially, I am serving very well. Playing very well."

Ivanisevic's parents are with him at Wimbledon, but his sister Srdjana was back home in the seaside town of Split in Croatia.

"It's OK, you know," he said. "Everything is quiet. It's hot. Nice. They are swimming all day."

* It was the quietest first-round win of the tournament. Ivan Lendl, still seeking his first Wimbledon title, defeated Kelly Evernden, 6-2, 7-5, 7-6.

"I like it this way," Lendl said. "I don't want any attention."

* French Open champion Jim Courier wore a new white baseball cap and displayed a new serve-and-volley style and defeated Rodolphe Gilbert, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6.

"The true test of a player is how you play on all surfaces," Courier said. "I'm sure Lendl regrets skipping Wimbledon [in the past.] I don't feel like I'm contending for the title this year. But in the next few years, I'll contend."

Sounds like a man willing to pay his dues.

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