Dubai: He spent his honeymoon in Dubai two years back and considers the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships as one of his favourite tournaments on the ATP World Tour. Meet the ‘other' Serbian, Janko Tipsarevic, the man who recently led his country to victory against formidable Russia in Novak Djokovic's absence and was one of the very few players to beat his seemingly unbeatable countryman at the ATP World Tour Finals last year. Speaking exclusively to XPRESS ahead of the February 27-March 3 men's week, the world No 9 said he hopes to reach close to the top 5 by the end of this year.
"I feel like I had a very successful season [in 2011] because I was more consistent with the way that I was performing on the court. I played lots of matches last season and I think I knew that I need to improve my tennis to get to the level that I wanted to reach. This season is going to be even tougher as I will need to maintain that level so that I can become a consistent top 10. I need to improve and if I do that then maybe I can come closer to the top 5," he said.
The 27-year-old has been to Dubai before, his famous win against Andy Murray in 2010 marking him out as a player to fear here. "It [Dubai] is one of my favourite tournaments on the ATP World Tour. I have been here many times for the tournament and also many times outside of tennis, for example, my honeymoon. The organisation at the tournament is world class and I enjoy the experience of playing at the club and in front of all the fans,' he said.
Tipsarevic had a great finish to 2011, winning his first ATP World Tour tournaments in Kuala Lumpur and Moscow and of course beating Djokovic in London. So, does that rank as one of the best wins of his career?
"I am not sure I would say it was the best win of my career, but for sure beating the world number one at the World Tour Finals was a very a nice way to finish the season," he said.
He also partnered Leander Paes to win the Chennai Open this year and he believes the Indian is one of the greatest doubles player of all time.
"To be honest, for me it is impossible to rate Leander anywhere. He is one of the best of all time because he has managed to stay so long at the top with many different partners. He is incredibly talented," he said.
Understandably, despite all his singles success, the Serb still rates the 2010 Davis Cup triumph as the best of his career, coming from 1-2 down to win the fifth and final rubber against Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic.
"At this stage of my career I would have to say that it is the number one career moment. It was a very special feeling representing your country and winning the Davis Cup for them for the first time," he said.