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On Centre Court, Ivanisevic says goodbye

THE BALTIMORE SUN

WIMBLEDON, England -- Goran Ivanisevic will be missed.

His flamboyant game will be missed, including the way he busted 130-mph serves from a loose, skinny body. His loud mouth will be missed, the way he carried on colorful and sometimes profane conversations in English and Croatian with himself, the fans, the umpires, his opponents -- even with the tennis balls and rackets and a blade of grass yesterday on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

"Help me," he said after a forehand by Lleyton Hewitt had sent Ivanisevic splayed face down.

Ivanisevic won Wimbledon once, but what a title it was. It came in 2001 after he had lost to Andre Agassi in an emotional final in 1992 and to Pete Sampras in 1994 and 1998. That championship day will always be remembered, for Ivanisevic's unabashed joy and for the tears of his father, who has an unsteady heart, a heart not helped, Ivanisevic has said, by the son's wildly inconsistent ways.

Yesterday on Centre Court, Ivanisevic played his final Grand Slam singles match. He was soundly beaten by Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon champion. The score was 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, but that was irrelevant to Ivanisevic. That he got to finish his career on Centre Court, in front of a packed house and against a former champion was what mattered.

"Everything was perfect," Ivanisevic said. "Everything was right. The weather, the crowd, the court. I just enjoy myself. I'm happy. I'm happy and sad. I'm sad that I have to leave, but I'm happy that it's no more practicing. Was really great 15 years. I really enjoyed every moment of my career."

At the end, Ivanisevic stood and stared for a moment, then he and Hewitt hugged at the net.

There was much rejoicing elsewhere for Amy Frazier.

She didn't cry because she couldn't stop smiling long enough. At 31 and with no realistic chance of winning Wimbledon but playing with joy and fortitude, Frazier accomplished her greatest win at a major tournament. She beat No. 2 seed Anastasia Myskina, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, in a third-round match.

Frazier quietly explained why she is still traveling the world instead of settling down at home in Rochester, Mich.

"I think I love what I do and I feel lucky that I get to do it," said Frazier, who has never gone farther than the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament. "So I try not to think that I'm 31."

Two highly seeded men who love what they do on clay courts more than grass were soundly defeated. Guillermo Coria, the French Open finalist and No. 3 seed here who needed four days to complete his first-round win, was eliminated in the second round by Germany's Florian Mayer, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

And 21-year-old American Robbie Ginepri moved smartly into the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 stomping of 2003 French Open champion and No. 6 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero. Ginepri's American friend, No. 2 seed Andy Roddick, slipped into the third round with an easy 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over lucky loser Alexander Peya of Austria.

In today's third round, Roddick will face another friend, No. 26 seed Taylor Dent, who has two straight-set wins but also carries the burden of his 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 drubbing by Roddick at the Australian Open.

"I think of that match, yeah, but not often," Dent said. "Let's not think about it again."

Sentimental after his final match, Ivanisevic unabashedly listed his faults.

"I say what I mean in that moment," he said. Most famously, after his Wimbledon victory Ivanisevic used a derogatory term for a linesman who made a controversial call. "Sometimes is bad. But, you know, who cares? I said a lot of stupid things in my career and that cost me. But that's me."

Ivanisevic has no firm plans. He may play one more round of Davis Cup for Croatia; he may become Croatia's Davis Cup captain. As he left the interview room for the last time, Ivanisevic stopped.

"Some of you started with me, some of you, you're before me, some of you are new. But thank you for all these 15 years of my career, for writing good, for writing bad, for writing whatever you write. I had fun. You had fun. Enjoy."

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

Results

Men's singles

Second round

Andy Roddick (2), United States, def. Alexander Peya, Austria, 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Alexander Popp, Germany, def. Albert Montanes, Spain, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. Dominik Hrbaty (25), Slovakia, def. Mark Hilton, Britain, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2. Florian Mayer, Germany, def. Guillermo Coria (3), Argentina, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. Wayne Ferreira, South Africa, def. Karol Kucera, Slovakia, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-1. Kenneth Carlsen, Denmark, def. Andrei Pavel (22), Romania, 7-6 (9), 6-4, 6-3.

Taylor Dent (26), United States, def. Stefano Pescosolido, Italy, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (3). Ivo Karlovic, Croatia, def. Gilles Elseneer, Belgium, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (14). Tim Henman (5), Britain, def. Ivo Heuberger, Switzerland, 7-5, 6-3, 6-2. Xavier Malisse, Belgium, def. Tommy Haas, Germany, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Vince Spadea (30), United States, def. Felix Mantilla, Spain, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Karol Beck, Slovakia, def. Tommy Robredo (20), Spain, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

Mario Ancic, Croatia, def. Julien Benneteau, France, 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. Mark Philippoussis (11), Australia, def. Martin Verkerk, Netherlands, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 7-5. Thomas Enqvist, Sweden, def. Juan Ignacio Chela (21), Argentina, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Fernando Gonzalez (24), Chile, def. Igor Andreev, Russia, 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 6-7 (4), 6-3. Hicham Arazi (32), Morocco, def. David Ferrer, Spain, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7). Sjeng Schalken (12), Netherlands, def. Todd Martin, United States, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Rainer Schuettler (8), Germany, def. Greg Rusedski, Britain, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (10), 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-2.

Third round

Carlos Moya (9), Spain, def. Dmitry Tursunov, Russia, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. Lleyton Hewitt (7), Australia, def. Goran Ivanisevic, Croatia, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Sebastien Grosjean (10), France, def. Jan-Michael Gambill, United States, 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-2. Robby Ginepri, United States (27), def. Juan Carlos Ferrero (6), Spain, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.

Women's singles

Second round

Rita Grande, Italy, def. Arantxa Parra Santonja, Spain, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. Magui Serna, Spain, def. Jane O'Donoghue, Britain, 6-3, 6-3. Paola Suarez (9), Argentina, def. Els Callens, Belgium, 6-2, 6-2. Serena Williams (1), United States, def. Stephanie Foretz, France, 6-0, 6-4. Tatiana Perebiynis, Ukraine, def. Milagros Sequera, Venezuela, 6-2, 7-5. Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain, def. Henrieta Nagyova, Slovakia, 6-4, 6-4.

Virginie Razzano, France, def. Elena Likhovtseva, Russia, 6-1, 6-2. Meghann Shaughnessy (32), United States, def. Nuria Llagostera Vives, Spain, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8. Nadia Petrova (10), Russia, def. Maria Vento-Kabchi, Venezuela, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Amelie Mauresmo (4), France, def. Jennifer Hopkins, United States, 6-3, 6-3. Silvia Farina Elia (14), Italy, def. Silvija Talaja, Croatia, 6-3, 6-3. Tatiana Golovin, France, def. Francesca Schiavone (18), Italy, 6-1, 6-0.

Nathalie Dechy (25), France, def. Maria Sanchez Lorenzo, Spain, 6-1, 6-1. Emmanuelle Gagliardi, Switzerland, def. Patty Schnyder (15), Switzerland, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2. Ludmila Cervanova, Slovakia, def. Lisa Raymond (26), United States, 6-4, 6-3. Jennifer Capriati (7), United States, def. Elena Baltacha, Britain, 6-4, 6-4. Anne Kremer, Luxembourg, def. Sun Tian Tian, China, 6-3, 7-5.

Third round

Amy Frazier (31), United States, def. Anastasia Myskina (2), Russia, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Tamarine Tanasugarn, Thailand, def. Alicia Molik (27), Australia, 6-2, 6-4. Vera Zvonareva (12), Russia, def. Gisela Dulko, Argentina, 6-4, 6-2. Ai Sugiyama (11), Japan, def. Marion Bartoli, France, 6-1, 6-2. Maria Sharapova (13), Russia, def. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia, 6-3, 6-1. Lindsay Davenport (5), United States, def. Tatiana Panova, Russia, 6-2, 6-1.

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