SPLIT - July 2001, Resnik airport. Ten thousands are welcoming the Wimbledon champion, they all want to congratulate him, shake his hand... eleven months later at the same airport, Goran Ivanisevic returns home again. Only journalists are awaiting him. The shoulder operation in the German city of Heidelberg has succeeded, the first days have passed. The hardest one are yet to come. "I'm at the absolute beginning. The first three days it was really bad, especially after the narcosis. I slept all day, terrible. For the first time in my life I was helpless, never in my life I depended on other people. After the operation I couldn't dress myself, I couldn't go to the toilet. Tanja was everything to me" (Tatjana Dragovic, Goran's girlfriend), says Goran about his experiences after the operation.
He's wearing a blue bandage, it looks more like a 'stretcher' for his right arm and shoulder.
"I'm aware it won't be easy, I have to wear this for another ten days, I'm sleeping with it. They prescribed me six weeks of passive exercises, then I will go for my check-up, and then another six weeks of exercises, but nothing with weights. The doctor said the first twelve weeks are important, nothing may move or become inflamed in the shoulder... I have to be patient, do nothing stupid. I can start playing tennis end of August of begin September, but I won't rush it", Ivanisevic says, who except with Tanja, also travelled with father Srdan to Split, and at the airport mother Gorana welcomed him.
Heidelberg will not remain a happy memory. The operation was the second encounter for Goran with that city.
"It reminds me of the disqualification at the European tennis championships for juniors until age14. Now I've had a better experience, dr. Habmeyer is one of the best in Europe. I haven't given him anything yet, but when everything is okay, I will give him anything he wants", Ivanisevic concluded, who will be in Split for the next six weeks for his recovery.