Tipsarevic: I need hours of practice to play good
I feel sorry that I don't play my best tennis here in London, which is probably the best event of the year
Janko Tipsarevic admits that he has played “worse than horrible” at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after a lack of practise in recent weeks
Tipsarevic will be playing for pride in his final match against David Ferrer at the season-ending event after the Serb suffered straight-set defeats to Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro in his opening two contests, spending just 2 hours, 25 minutes on court so far.
“You can see from the side that I'm not playing good,” said Tipsarevic. “I feel sorry that I don't play my best tennis here in London, which is probably the best event of the year. But I fight hard to be in a position to come to this event. So I'll just do my best for one more match.”
The world No.9, who pulled out of Paris last week citing “sudden fatigue”, said his illness has limited his time on the practise court, leading to his poor form.
“I'm not really talented enough to play good tennis if I don't spend my time that I need on the tennis court prior to the match or to the challenge,” Tipsarevic explained after his 6-0, 6-4 loss to del Potro. “I need hours of work and practise in order to perform and play good. I just didn't have that before this year's London tournament because I was sick. It came at a very, very bad and sh***y time. But that's tennis.
“I played way better last year,” added Tipsarevic, who replaced an injured Andy Murray at the same event in 2011 after breaking the top ten for the first time. “I won one match, I lost one match, but I played great tennis. I wasn't as maybe mentally burned out as I am right now. And the main thing is that I wasn't sick.”
The Belgrade native also admitted that staying in the top ten this season posed a much greater challenge than breaking into the top ten last year. “I think when I managed to break into the top ten, people didn't really know me,” he said. “They didn't really take me seriously, I think. Everybody knew that I could play good tennis, but everybody also knew that I couldn't keep it up for a longer period of time.
“Then suddenly I'm in this position that let's say 70 per cent of my matches, 80 per cent or whatever, I'm the favourite to win. This is not easy for me. I'm a very emotional guy. I like being the underdog. I enjoy, you know, having nothing to lose. So I managed to cope with the pressure pretty well, I would say. I was very consistent and solid, playing good tennis, sometimes beating some of the top guys. But generally not losing to guys that I was losing in the past. This is one of the main things why I managed to stay in the top ten and be here in London for the second straight year.”
Want more? Click here to subscribe to tennishead, the world's greatest tennis magazine. Available in both print and digital.