Catching Up with Janko Tipsarevic at the Sony Ericsson Open
Janko Tipsarevic has been in fine form at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, FL. Sporting Oakley’s latest sports performance sunglass, the Fast Jacket, as he and doubles partner Olivire Marach toppled top seeded teams including Oakley teammates Bob and Mike Bryan en route to the Quarter Finals.
In between matches Janko sat down for a quick interview with Matt Fitzgerald. Read on to see what he had to say.
Getting Acquainted With… Janko Tipsarevic
You won’t find many players on the ATP World Tour with a personality bigger than Janko Tipsarevic.
The colorful Serbian, the current No. 44 ranked singles player, is one of the ATP World Tour’s most recognizable characters. With several body piercings and tattoos, which include a symbol of his Zodiac sign Cancer, the names of family members and a quote from a novel he read as a child, he’s impossible to miss. And then there’s his on-court accomplishments – Tipsarevic has reached the third round or better at all four majors, has multiple wins against Andy Murray and Andy Roddick and was a pivotal part of Serbia’s first Davis Cup champion team in 2010.
We caught up with Tipsarevic on Thursday (March 24) after he defeated Dutchman Robin Haase 6-4, 7-6(5) in a first round encounter on Stadium Court.
You have a one-of-a-kind personality. You’re eccentric, a crowd-pleaser and enjoy a diverse group of hobbies like classic literature. Where does this temperament come from? Is anyone in your family like you at all?
JT: It’s just me. I’ve always been my own person. My parents were against the body piercings and tattoos when I got my first ones. We may have had disagreements on certain things, but I’ve always done my best to make them proud parents.
The interest in literature comes from my mother. She was a law student and was always reading, but became a housewife. Her biggest hobby was reading and it’s rubbed off on me. She encouraged me to read a variety of books when I was younger.
Is there a deeper meaning to your nickname “Tipsy” or does it simply come from your last name?
JT: I didn’t come up with it. It’s what some of the fans call me. Other players call me “Jankela” – I have several nicknames.
The Davis Cup victory last year was a special moment for you, your teammates and Serbia. You clinched the deciding rubber against Stepanek in the semi-finals. How emotional was the run to the championship and has representing your country to the highest of levels changed you in any way?
JT: It hasn’t changed my perspective at all, but it was certainly a remarkable moment. I feel it’s one of the biggest achievements so far in my career.
The story of our run to the title is interesting. When we started, we all talked about how amazing it would be if we could actually win it, achieving a common dream we all had. But as we got closer, we talked about it less and less. As soon as we were in the semi-finals, we all stopped talking about it. It’s incredible that we actually realized our dream.
How is married life treating you? Your wife is a former TV host back in Serbia and there are reports that she works as a model. Does she get to travel with you often?
JT: The reports are actually false. She’s had a couple of offers, but she’s turned them down.
Married life is still really the same, probably because I’ve been with my wife for so long. We moved in together after going out for six months and were in a relationship for five years or so before getting married. She’s traveling with me a lot right now, which I really enjoy, but she said it won’t last forever. After this year, she wants to focus on her career. So I’m happy to spend a lot of time with her now and feel like the luckiest guy in the world.
If you had to describe Miami in a twitter post with 140 characters or less, what would you tweet to your followers?
JT: Miami is my fav city next 2 Belgrade-c myself living here in future. Luv city so much! Motivated 2 do well in tourney so I can stay longer!!
Book: It changes from time to time. One I really like is “On The Genealogy of Morals” by Friedrich Nietzsche
Practice Partner: Nadal. He always plays in his own zone, which allows me to focus on my game. I could hit 20 balls in a row over the fence and it wouldn’t affect him
Tennis Shot: Backhand down the line
Twitter User: @LordStewie (Stewie Griffin) – great sarcasm. Tells the “Ugly Truth”