WIMBLEDON, England (AP) _ Pat Rafter, after dropping the first set 6-3 to Goran Ivanisevic, rallied to win the second set 6-3 to even the unusual ``People's Monday'' final at Wimbledon.
Rafter, who was broken in the second game of the first set, turned the tables and broke Ivanisevic in the second game of the second set _ his first break of the match.
Ivanisevic fell behind 30-40 in the key game on his fourth double fault of the match. On the first break point, Rafter took the game as he ran the width of the court and hit a forehand, cross-court winner.
Ivanisevic saw his serve drop off in the second set with Rafter taking advantage of his less effective second serve. Through two sets, Ivanisevic had eight aces and seven double faults.
Ivanisevic had 186 aces in six matches entering the final and needed 21 to break his tournament record.
In the first set, Ivanisevic, served well and returned even better, taking the set 6-3. Ivanisevic, the three-time runner-up and unseeded in the tournament, broke Rafter in the second game. On the third break point of the game, Ivanisevic crack a forehand return winner down the line.
The 29-year-old Croatian seemed relaxed early. Rafter, perhaps feeling the presence of a loud and pro-Australian crowd, took a few games to get into the match but was unable to get a break point against Ivanisevic.
With only three aces in the first set, Ivanisevic showed he is more than just a strong server and played an all-court game with passing shot and smooth volleys at the net.
The final was the first to be played on Monday at the All England Club since 1988, and the first men's final to start on a Monday since 1922. The '88 match was continued on Monday with Stefan Edberg defeating Boris Becker in four sets.
The Centre Court match was pushed back a day when the semifinal between Ivanisevic and Briton Tim Henman was called off by darkness on Friday, rained out on Saturday and completed on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Rafter, the third-seeded player, is a two-time U.S. Open champion and was the runner-up last year at Wimbledon to seven-time champion Pete Sampras. He reached the final beating American Andre Agassi, the second-seeded player, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 8-6.
Ivanisevic is the first wild card _ man or woman _ to ever reach the Wimbledon final. The Croatian is a three-time Wimbledon runner-up with losses in the finals in '92, '94 and '98. He has never won a Grand Slam. He defeated Henman in a match completed Sunday 7-5, 6-7 (6), 0-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Henman was attempting to become the first British player since 1938 to reach the Wimbledon final, and the first since '36 to win it.
The unusual Monday final _ nicknamed ``People's Monday'' _ allowed working-class fans who never have a prayer of getting on Centre Court to buy tickets for 40 pounds (dlrs 54).
All England Club officials put 10,000 Centre Court tickets on sale a few hours before the match with thousands of fans lining up overnight to get in.
In addition to the 10,000 tickets, 5,000 more were on sale for 10 pounds (dlrs 14), allowing fans to enter the grounds and watch the final on a big-screen TV behind Court No. 1.