Janko Tipsarevic Interview - US Open, Sept 1Posted on September 2, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Andy said unlike in Wimbledon where he felt like the two of you did not play high quality tennis, he said tonight you absolutely deserved to win.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I said to my coach the same thing in the locker room. You know, in Wimbledon when I won, I felt that I was lucky and that Andy choked on important moments where he had. But here I feel it was a different story. Well, I'm saying from my point of view, it was a high quality match, especially in the fourth set. I was nowhere near his serve in the fourth set because I think that he had played much better. And I follow his like matches in the past. It happens so that normally he starts off too defensive, and then when he sees that things are not going his way, he starts playing aggressive. That's when he's really dangerous. So I was thinking that I really need to win this fourth set, because in the fifth it would be really, really difficult. I had a tough first round match. I had a long, long doubles match yesterday on the heat, so I'm really happy that I went through in four.
Q. He made a comment that after Wimbledon you went out in the next round. He discussed the fact that you're capable of playing this incredible level of tennis and then have the level fall off a bit. Do you feel you can sustain this level of tennis going forward?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Well, in Wimbledon, if I remember, I won against a tricky opponent, Tursunov, in the next round, who was top 20 at the time, and then lost to Rainer Schuettler. But then again, it was a good draw to play quarters against Arnaud Clément. These are all players which I won in the past, and I didn't seize the opportunity in the moment. This problem is following me all my life. I am playing really well on big stadiums against big players. I am winning. I'm losing sometimes. But whatever happens, I play very, very good tennis. The difference to become a champion in this sport is that you need to play this level for not just one tournament, but let's say for a period of a year, or in case of Nadal and Federer just all year long, you know. And that's really, really hard. You know, I'm not saying that what I did is easy. But keeping this level all year long, I'm telling you, it's really, really hard, and only champions can do it.
Q. How would you describe the risk level of the shots you were going for and making tonight?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: You know what, I was playing a little bit more risky, but I don't feel that I was rushing too much, you know. I was trying that in the first set, and I played a really good, I think, first three games. And then it happened that I made two mistakes, Andy made one good point, one shank, and there's the break. So with him, it's like a mind game. Like to answer your question, I wasn't feeling that I played too risky. I was just playing good, you know. I was building up a point. Of course, I made a couple of unbelievable shots from back of the court, but most of the winners that I made I was stepping in and being close to the line. You know, that's the point on the court where I'm most dangerous.
Q. What was your conversation at the end?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: He was really nice. He said, Well done, man. You played great. And he said, If you lose early, I'm going to kill you. Yeah, he said. You beat me at Wimbledon, and now if you lose early, I'm going to freakin' kill you. Yes, that's what he said.
Q. You said he starts out playing defensively. Why do you think a Grand Slam winner like Roddick would start out playing defensively?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Well, I don't know. That's just my feeling. I don't know how many winners he made during the match, not counting the serve. But, I mean, he has I don't even want to talk about the serve, but he has a strength. He has a good return and he's incredibly fit. People say that he was much more dangerous when he was young because he was really going for the forehand every chance that he had, you know. And now I just don't see that, you know. He's a kind of player that you need to beat, you know. Let's just say, my opinion, he's going to wait for the mistake of the opponent rather than go for a big shot.
Q. You were talking before about the problem you identified as having the ups and downs. Tonight you had a chance to play a night match in Arthur Ashe Stadium against an American favorite. You're able to get up for that. Now you have Monfils coming up. Say it's out on the Grandstand, but it's not the same theater.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I know what you mean. It's just that for me, I don't want I mean, Monfils is a great player. He's on tour forever. But it would mean so much to me that I prove that I can have this level for longer than two and a half, three hours on court. To me. I know that people will maybe remember this match, and tomorrow they will put me on Court 18 F or whatever. But I don't know, I'm not afraid, even if there is like 50,000 people. I mean, playing Roddick night session in New York with, I don't know, 20,000 people, it hardly gets bigger than that. So this generally doesn't intimidate me. This motivates me to play better, you know. But to become somebody that the world of tennis can remember in years to come, I need to hold this level for longer than two and a half hours on the court.
Q. So would you identify this moment right now as an epic opportunity in your career, to be able to turn this corner and go out and do it again against Monfils?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Yes, definitely. Beating a big champion like Roddick and then confirming the big win with a couple of wins after, that's big, you know. I mean, I don't want to be remembered by a player who played and this was really killing me, I tell you, especially when I lost to Roger at Australia like anybody who was saying anything about me, they were saying, That guy lost to Roger in five sets, whatever. That was really killing me in the head. Maybe now they'll say I beat Roddick. I don't know.
Q. Can you speak about how you reacted to Andy's dispute over the initial foot fault call, how that was affecting you? In addition, did you sense after that that that had any effect in changing his tactics or giving him any more energy?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: He was trying, in my opinion he was pissed off. I would be if a referee told me I made a foot fault with my right leg. I mean, he never moves his right leg, so it was just a stupid call. But I feel he was trying to do something to change, you know, the match, to get the crowd involved or whatever. But if I remember, it really didn't. It was first point of the game, and I had Love 40 the same game. He came up with a couple of big serves. I held my serve pretty easy, won the set 6 3. So in my opinion, I was just trying to tell to myself, Just don't look at him. You know, he's in his own world. He's pissed off, nervous, whatever. Just focus on what you need to do.
Q. Do you think Andy can win another Grand Slam title?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: He needs to be more aggressive. But, yes, I think he can. He needs to change his game style a little bit, in my opinion, going for a little bit more, especially from his forehand. Like this, I mean, I don't want to say that he played bad today, you know, but obviously, you know, it was night. He likes more playing on the heat. He had mononucleosis. Things were going my way tonight. He had a couple of bad calls when he could have broken me. When it goes your way, it goes your way till the end. If he recuperates and starts being a little more aggressive I'm not here to give tips but definitely he needs to change something to win a Grand Slam.
Q. You just got married. There's been talk about how married players lose their competitive juices. What has been your experience in that regard of being married?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I don't want to say it's just a piece of paper, because it's not. But talking about a lifestyle, it didn't change anything for me. You know, I'm with my girlfriend/wife now for like five years. I'm a kind of guy who doesn't believe in these like long relationships like 10 years and then you get married after 10. But honestly, talking about a lifestyle, when kids come your life is changing, you know. But now, I mean, everything is the same. She will still travel sometimes with me; sometimes not. Everything stays completely the same, so...
Q. Can you describe your thoughts on facing Monfils in the next round and what that match will turn on.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: He will obviously be very motivated because he sees probably an opening there because Roddick lost. I played him I think three or four times. I remember that I won three and I lost one time. He plays more or less similar like Andy. You know, he has a weaker serve, but then again he moves better. Probably he covers most of the court on tour maybe after Nadal. So he's a great fighter. I think he's hungry. He didn't make any big results recently, you know. It's going to be definitely a tough match, you know. He's going to fight until the end. I think he won a very difficult first round in five sets against Kendrick or something. So more or less we have the same juice in our fuel tank. I guess it's a completely open match. If I'm able to play like today, I think I have a good chance to win. I know what I need to do because I won against him three times in the past. So let's see what happens.
Q. You are a good friend of Randy Lu. You play doubles together. You are coached by the same person. Randy beat Andy in Wimbledon. I was wondering if he gave you any tips to beat Andy?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Yes, he did.
Q. Or if your coach had specific tactics.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Coach told me the regular tactics. I played him twice so I more or less knew what to expect. Coach was mainly telling me what I need to focus on, you know. Regarding Roddick, I more or less knew what strengths and what weaknesses he had. Randy gave me a couple of tips. Well, they worked, so... I am grateful for that.
Q. Touching Andy's chest with your forehead must have some meaning. You don't do that after every match. Why did you do that?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: You know what, he's not a good friend, he's a friend of mine. I think he's a very nice guy. And, you know, just to say those nice things after probably being really, really disappointed, it was just like an emotional thing. I wanted to hug him, but then it probably wouldn't be so good. So is just saying nice words after being disappointed and losing, I mean, against and underdog on your stadium in front of your home crowd, that just brings up a big champion in him.