Goran played his second ATP final in his career in Umag. After two convincing start matches, he met Tarik Benhabiles, a very good Frenchman who later developed an excellent coaching career.
After winning 6-4, 7-6, he reached the biggest challenge, the semi-final against excellent Andrei Čerkasov. Winning over Russian 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 secured him the first Croatian final at ATP Tour against the namesake Goran Prpić. More experienced Goran Prpić then celebrated the win 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, but for Ivanašević this first Croatia Open remains in memory as one of the crucial moments in his career.
"After Umag it all started for me, it was a real BOOM in my career. I went to the quarterfinals in Paris, semi-finals at Wimbledon, won my first title in Stuttgart... It was the year I entered into Top 10, and the beginning of the year was not promissing. Untill Umag, "Goran recalled.