Sports Nicknames - Zec (Rabbit), Wild Card Ivanisevic

Goran Ivanisevic was a great Tennis Player who was tactically very sound. He did not have any lavish talent, but he did possess the discipline and technique to flourish at the highest level. This is the primary reason that both his nicknames are a result of his performances and hard work.

Goran Ivanisevic, also known as Zec and Wild Card - Profile illustration.  Drawing.  Digital art.  Avatar.

Goran Ivanisevic started his career under the guidance of the Serbian tennis player Jelena Gencic before turning professional in 1988. His first major win came in 1988 when he won his first career doubles title at Frankfurt. Despite starting well in doubles, Ivanisevic focused on singles events for the most of his career.

Playing Style:

Ivanisevic had a great build and physical strength that helped him a lot on the tennis courts. He became particularly famous for his amazingly powerful serves, which made him the player with more aces than anyone else on tour. He also had the ability to move swiftly on the court, which allowed him to control the pace of the game.


Ivanisevic had two of the finest nicknames in the tennis world. Looking back, one can safely say that Ivanisevic would be very proud of the nicknames he received.

Zec - Rabbit:

Ivanisevic was famous on tour for his physical ability. The fact that he could move around the court conveniently meant that Ivanisevic could dominate the opponents with his pace and strong shots.

Based on his speed, Ivanisevic was given the nickname "Zec." The nickname means Rabbit in English. Ivanisevic was called Rabbit because of his rapid movements on the tennis courts.

Over the years, Ivanisevic troubled many tennis players with his speed and earned himself the reputation of being one of the fastest players in the tennis world at the time.

Wild Card Ivanisevic:

This nickname is a result of Ivanisevic's biggest achievement as a player. In 2001, Ivanisevic was ranked 125th in the Tennis Rankings, and there was no way for him to qualify for the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament 2001.

In the past, Ivanisevic had qualified for the men's singles final of Wimbledon on three separate occasions (1992, 1994, and 1998). Based on his past record, Ivanisevic was given a wildcard entry into the Wimbledon event in 2001.

Nobody really gave Ivanisevic any real chance. However, he stunned one and all with his performances at the tournament. He defeated top-ranked players like Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Fredrik Jonsson, Greg Rusedski, Tim Henman, and Patrick Rafter to win his first ever Wimbledon Title (that too as a wild card entry). This was the first time that a player had won the Wimbledon singles title as a wildcard.

Following this incredible achievement, Ivanisevic became famous as "Wild Card Ivanisevic." It was a great moment in Sport's history as a classy tennis player had his redemption.

Olympic Medals:

Besides the Wimbledon title, Ivanisevic also won two Bronze medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in both singles and doubles categories.

Coaching Career:

Ivanisevic retired from Professional Tennis in 2004. Since then, he has been working with different players as a Coach. Roger Federer was the first big name to acknowledge and appreciate Ivanisevic's coaching skills when he first worked with him in 2007.

Later, Ivanisevic worked closely with the young Marin Cilic and helped him win his first Grand Slam Title at the 2014 US Open.

Since 2019, he has been working closely with Novak Djokovic. Under his coaching, Djokovic has won 3 Wimbledon Titles, 2 Australian Open Titles, and a French Open Title. This association is a perfect example of a great working with another great.

Great minds indeed think alike!


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