Ivanisevic offers to help Britain find a Wimbledon champion

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The Independent Online

Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic has offered to help British tennis find a homegrown winner.

The Croat has offered to help coach youngsters as part of a program by the Lawn Tennis Association to encourage British children to play tennis.

The role suggested by Ivanisevic is similar to one proposed by two–time women's champion Venus Williams and her sister Serena, but with no money involved.

"I would love to take on the role they were offered, but for free because I like the All England Club," Ivanisevic told The Sun newspaper Wednesday.

"Kids are great. You can joke and have fun. They are honest. They don't lie. I like tennis and I like people.

"If I had the opportunity when I was young, I would have loved to play against someone big. It would have been a big help. Now I would like to teach the youngsters."

While no arrangements have been made, the LTA welcomed Ivanisevic's offer.

"Goran is a great champion and he would always be welcome at the LTA whenever we see him in London or elsewhere," and LTA spokesman said.

Ivanisevic became the first wildcard to win Wimbledon Monday when he defeated Australian Pat Rafter in five sets. He beat Britain's best hope Tim Henman in the semifinals.

Britain has not had a men's Wimbledon winner since Fred Perry in 1936. The last women's winner was Virginia Wade in 1977.

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