Goran turned professional in 1988 and, later that year won his first career doubles title in Frankfurt. In 1989, as a qualifier he made the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Ivanišević made his first significant impact on the tour in 1990, knocking Boris Becker out of the first round of the French Open men’s singles; he went on to reach the quarterfinals. Ivanišević also won his first tour singles title in 1990 at Stuttgart and helped Yugoslavia win the World Team Cup.
In 1996, Ivanišević won a career-best five singles titles in a calendar year. He reached the Grand Slam Cup final again, but this time lost to Becker in straight sets. In 1997, Ivanišević became the only player to defeat the “king of clay”, Thomas Muster, in a Davis Cup singles match on clay. During 1997, Ivanišević also got back up to his career high ranking of world No. 2. In 2001 Ivanišević became the lowest-ranked player and the first wildcard entry to win Wimbledon. To date, he is the only male entrant to have won a Grand Slam singles title as a wildcard.