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March 11, 2007


7-6, 4-6, 6-2

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: We're going to get started here with questions. I know a couple of you are on extremely tight deadlines, so we'll just jump right in. Go ahead.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about today?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I am -- my best ranking is 64th, so I don't have too many chances to play in big stadiums or huge center courts and stuff like that. So today, a huge experience for me. Since the beginning of the year, wasn't great for me. I'm lucky that I played my game and played good when it was important against a great player like Hewitt.

Q. What was the big difference in this match?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I got a few tactical advises from my coach, which I felt that I did pretty well. Also Lleyton was not on top of his game. He was probably tired from the win last week in Vegas, but I'm happy that I used his not playing good in certain -- I'm not underestimating my game, but I'm just saying that he helped me a little bit when there were important points and stuff like that.

Q. Was it eerie walking into the stadium right after Federer lost?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Last year I beat, and I have a couple of chances to beat, like, top 10 players, so only since last year I started believing myself that I can beat No. 1's or top 10 players on big stadiums at night session matches. And the fact that Federer lost just gave me like a boost to think that, I mean, nothing is impossible. Especially now, when tennis is completely -- you have, like, Federer and Nadal who are maybe ahead of the guys, but the rest is completely...

Q. What was it like kind of waiting for your match to come on and watching that Federer match as he came off?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: It was -- when we were in the locker room and I was getting ready to warm up, I mean, Canas was leading all the time, but everybody was saying, "Well, you know Federer, he's probably gonna win," like, "Don't start warming up yet," and stuff like that. So -- but when it was 4-2 and I saw in Canas's eyes that he doesn't have fear from Federer, which most of the players do when it comes to important points, I saw that he was ready to beat him 6-Love, you know, and not giving him a chance, I started warming up. So, and I mean, I was right.

Q. What's the state of tennis in Serbia now? Obviously, good. You know, girls are very well-situated right now in the top almost. And what's the situation on the boys' side, I mean, on the men's side?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Tennis in Serbia, we have -- just yesterday I saw U.S. Tennis Magazine, an article about saying Hot Shots, and from nine players, young guys, there were three Serbian people, I mean three Serbian players, Ivanovic, Jankovic, and Djokovic, and just thinking that we were the country who had like three wars in the last 15 years and we were under, how do you call it, sanctions when you can't go anywhere else, just thinking that we players, as we do now, it's really amazing because everything that became in Serbia came from mud, from nothing. Nobody invested nothing in any of me or my, I can call them colleagues, from Serbia, only parents.
So it's quite amazing, you know. Our president, which is the president of the country which I saw before coming here, is really, really trying to put Serbia - I'm talking politics now - but trying to put Serbia into the European Union and to invest money into sports, especially into tennis. When I told them that information, that 71 percent of the world tennis is played on hard court and we don't have one single hard court in the country - we have four carpet courts, that's it - and those are private clubs, you know. When I come home, I call the owner and then he has to ask a guy, who has one hour at that time to move him if he wants or if not, then I have to, whatever, do weights or something or something else.
So it's really a poor story, you know. I'm not blaming the tennis federation. I'm not blaming no one. We were living in a very bad time. It's just that I would like people to realize and to hear that everything that became from tennis became from mud, from nothing.

Q. You said you watched Federer before you went on?

Q. Afterwards, you haven't gotten a chance to talk to a lot of people about it. How does this open up this tournament for everyone like yourself, to have a chance?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Well, the thing is, if you ask now, I wouldn't really say a person who can win the tournament, you know. You have players who have positive scores between one another because one style of the game suits another player, and depending on that - I haven't seen the draw, you know - and this is a great experience for me, and me, as other players are looking match by match.
And I'm sure even Nadal, who is at the bottom half of the draw, maybe he is, let's say, happy because Federer lost. But still, I mean, that's a really, really long way, a really long way.

Q. You said you saw no fear in Canas's eyes and you knew he was ready to win. How do you think he was able to summon that conviction and that some of the other players can't? Is it because he was gone for so long?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I mean, Canas as a player, in my opinion, is a huge fighter, you know. And he's a great guy, a great personality. But on the court, he's like a guy who would, let's say, not give you games if he doesn't have to, you know. The thing with Roger is that Canas was not giving him free points and could make points with the forehand, you know.
Roger was not playing that great, and this is the kind of attitude which Nadal have and which Canas has, that players need to have against Federer on court: not to start thinking when it's important, "Oh, do I have to hit a 200-mile backhand on the line to win the point, you know." This is the kind of, like, fighting spirit that players need to have against Roger if they want to compete against and beat him and even put his No. 1 position in question. He's up 4,000 points. It's really ridiculous.

Q. Roger made it sound like, after the match, like he didn't sound -- that he didn't think Canas should really be back on tour, that maybe his suspension shouldn't have been reduced. How do you feel about it? What's your sense about how the other players feel about it?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Well, I'm one of the guys who was, let's say, I had bad experience with doping players because -- I'm not saying nothing about guys who took doping or not taking it. It's not good. That's the only thing. But when they convicted Puerta, that he was doped, that summer when the ATP events, I played three times -- no, two times against him in matches which I didn't have a chance because he was taking substances, you know.
The thing is, with the ATP, we're having discussions, and they are really reasonable about it. They -- and still, I mean, it's a really flexible subject, you know, because I'm not really into doping and how long the suspensions have to be. I just don't mess with that stuff.
The thing is that every time when we ask how many times does a player have to be convicted in order to, let's say, ban him from tennis or never play again, they say it's depending on the substance which he is taking. I really don't know one substance because I'm not taking anything except water. That's it. So I'm not really into all the anti-doping thing.

Q. What's the sense amongst the players to Canas's return?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I really haven't spoken to anyone. I'm a, I could say, a friend of Canas and he's a really nice guy. The thing is that he's taking doping -- he took doping. That's his own -- and of course that's his own thing, and, of course, now a lot of people are going to question this, is he really still doped? Is he taking something to clean himself after the match or whatever? The bottom line is, he played a great match; he beat a world No. 1. Let's just leave -- let's just, other people who are -- who need to do the testing and the controlling, think about that, you know, and not put in question the win over Roger until he's convicted guilty, which most of the people think maybe he is now because he beat the world No. 1.

Q. You know, the winners usually leave the stadium with a happiness and share this happiness with their fans. You signed two or three autographs and rejected the other kids to sign the autographs, and there was some sign of the discomfort on the face. What happened?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Well, I think I signed around --

Q. I was taking pictures.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Normally, first of all, I don't like to give too many autographs because I think people, they don't know me. I hate when people ask for my autograph and then after tell me, "Can you write your name down, please?" This is irritating me so much, and maybe it's subconscious. I don't know.
I gave, let's say, maybe 10 or 12 autographs, but I'm just not used to that, not trying to, like, build my image over signing autographs or whatever. I didn't mean anything bad, really.

Q. So for the rest of the week, more people are going to recognize you, you know, and then they're going to ask you. Are you going to sign more?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Yeah, I mean, of course. The thing is everybody starts recognizing you. The whole idea of tennis is to start playing good on big tournaments and big, big players on big tournaments, you know. When you start doing that, people are going to recognize you; not being good and on top through challenges or some weak tournament. The whole idea is to beat players on Master Series events, grand slams, that's the whole point of the emotion, because I really felt really, really good today.

Q. I have an interesting question, and you don't have to answer it, but we're doing DNA right now on players and motor skills. Did you like math and science?

Q. Never?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I liked history and philosophy. Math and science, I am really bad, really bad.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everyone.

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