A pair of Wimbledon champions and world No. 2s are joining an elite class holding the highest honor in their respective sport: Goran Ivanisevic and Conchita Martinez have been selected for induction into the 2020 International Tennis Hall of Fame class. Ivanisevic and Martinez, the first and second place finishers in the Fan Vote, were celebrated in a special ceremony Tuesday evening at the Australian Open.
As fate would have it, each are in Melbourne chasing another Grand Slam title, but from the coach’s corner. Ivanisevic has been a member of Novak Djokovic’s team since 2019 Wimbledon, while Martinez reunited with countrywoman Garbine Muguruza ahead of the 2020 season. Both Djokovic and Muguruza are through to the quarterfinals, with Djokovic taking on Milos Raonic in Tuesday’s night match on Rod Laver Arena and Muguruza slated to meet Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Wednesday.
It’s a groundbreaking distinction for Ivanisevic, who is the first Croatian to be voted in. The left-hander memorably became the first wild card to capture the Wimbledon crown in 2001, prevailing 9-7 in the fifth set over Pat Rafter, after losing in three prior championships, two of which also went the distance. He was welcomed home in Split, Croatia by more than 150,000 supporters. Ivanisevic finished his career with a 599-233 record, 22 singles titles and nine doubles trophies. He also won two bronze medals at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and made a comeback as a member of Croatia’s first Davis Cup champion team in 2005.
“This is a huge honor. I am proud and humbled to become the first ever Tennis Hall of Famer from Croatia. I am grateful to the committee for selecting me for this honor and so thankful to the fans who supported me in the Fan Vote and throughout my entire career, especially so many great fans in Croatia,” Ivanisevic said in a statement.
Martinez is now connected to a rich Spanish heritage that includes Manuel Santana, Manuel Orantes and Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, which whom she won two of her three Olympic medals with (silver in 1992, bronze in 1996) and tag-teamed for a remarkable five Fed Cup tiles. The Monzon (Huesca) native denied Martina Navratilova in the fellow Hall of Famer’s final Grand Slam singles final to triumph at the All England Club in 1994, becoming the first woman from her country to win the title. She would later assist Muguruza in following suit 23 years later. A two-time Roland Garros finalist, Martinez won a combined 1153 matches (739 in singles).
“Becoming a Hall of Famer is such a great honor. To be remembered as part of tennis history and among the greatest in our sport, so many of whom I have always admired, is really special and I’m grateful for this recognition,” said Martinez.
The two will officially be enshrined on Saturday, July 18 in Newport, RI. As for which Goran will show up to deliver the speech, Ivanisevic joked in a press conference Tuesday that all three—the good, bad and emergency—will be represented, but one will speak for all.
"I think we going to agree on one speech because Todd [Martin] told me five to seven minutes maximum. All three are a part of this journey," he said. "You cannot leave them all home. They're all going to come there as a package, but one is going to go in."