Dubai: He’s the ‘Second Serb’ – and a strong one at that – among the top-10 tennis players currently plying their trade in the lucrative ATP World Tour. He stands out with his glasses on court, making him look almost scholarly as he goes about his business of keeping up with those above him in the rankings including ‘First Serb’ Novak Djokovic, who ended 2012 as No. 1 for the second year in succession.
Only the tattoos give him away.
But then, there is a lot more to Janko Tipsarevic than the glasses and the tattoos. He has managed to retain his place in the top-10 for the second year in succession and ahead of his maiden visit to Abu Dhabi - which incidentally was recommended by Djokovic himself - tells XPRESS why it is an honour to be invited to the Mubadala World Tennis Championship where he is drawn to meet World No. 3 Andy Murray on Thursday.
“This is as high as it gets,” the World No. 9 said.
“I feel honored to be invited on such a prestigious tournament and I hope that it will become a part of my annual schedule.”
Last year was a big one for Tipsarevic, as he won two titles and broke into the top-10 and he revealed why 2012 too has been as good.
“The biggest goal in the season 2012 for me was qualifying for London and I cannot be more thrilled that I managed to achieve that goal. Sure, I could have played a lot better in Grand Slams but I think that the key to this year was consistency and good results,” he said, adding that it has been really difficult to maintain his place in the top-10.
“We are playing in the toughest era of men’s tennis. At least that’s my opinion, so for a guy like me who broke through to the top 10 at the age of 27, it’s anything but easy to stay here. I am enjoying myself so much right now and I am very happy that I managed not to drop beyond my current ranking for the full year.”
And while the 2010 Davis Cup victory ranks has the best moment of his career so far, the Serb is hoping to change that in the Grand Slams come 2013.
“The Davis cup was the best feeling you can have on the tennis court and I consider it my biggest success. It was the best possible way to finish the season and I would love if I could do it again. But having said that, doing well in a Grand Slam is a big goal of mine in the upcoming year,” he said.
Tipsarevic has a quotation, tattooed in Japanese, from Dostoyevsky ("Beauty will save the world", from The Idiot) on his left arm. On his right arm, he has a Japanese tattoo which represents the first two letters of the names of his father, his mother, his brother, and himself in katakana. He also has a tattoo of a quote from Arthur Schopenhauer on his back.