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Ivanisevic uncertain over Ancic return

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Originally published on: 04/12/10 17:43

Goran Ivanisevic has made no indication that his compatriot Mario Ancic will ever get back amongst the elite after plummeting down the rankings due to a string of health and physical problems.

Ancic made an instant impact when bursting onto the scene as a lanky teenager. In 2002, he became the last man until Rafael Nadal in 2008 to defeat Roger Federer at Wimbledon. With his big Ivanisevic-esque serve and volley game, he reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2004 after thrashing Tim Henman in the quarters.

Winning three tour titles, the Croatian rose to a career high ranking of No.7 in the world in 2006, but disaster struck a year later when Ancic was diagnosed with mononucleosis. Having briefly returning to the ATP Tour the energy-sapping illness struck again, sending his ranking spiralling to as low as No.684 in the world this season.

“It is a pity for him,” said Ivanisevic, who practiced together when Ancic was a junior growing up in his hometown of Split. “He was up there, top 10, he was the only guy who was serve-volleying, beating Roger [Federer] at Wimbledon and then he got mononucleosis and since then he can’t come back.

“He has now a back problem and I don’t know whether he is going to have surgery or not. It is a pity because he has lost on so many years and, who knows?”

Ancic, now 26, has spent his time studying towards a law degree at the University of Split, which suggests that the Croatian is beginning to prepare for a career outside of the sport.

“I don’t know [whether he’ll ever return to the game], admitted Ivanisevic after his quarter-final victory at the Aegon Masters event. “I saw him in Zagreb and he is not practicing. He is working as a lawyer, so who knows if he is going to have another shot.

“I wish he can have just one good healthy year. He deserve it and try to see if he can do it on a regular basis.”

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