Last year, at this time Janko Tipsarevic's career was completely different. Another injury had forced him to withdraw from the US Open and his future was uncertain. On Tuesday, he beat the 2016 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Sam Querrey in four sets to win his first match in a Major for the first time since the 2013 US Open.
'Beating a very good player on a big court means a lot. I feel the Challenger (in China) that I won prior to the US Open two weeks ago, even though it was on clay, gave me confidence because I won it from quallies and I won seven matches in a row.
It's just nice to hear, "Game, Set, Match, Tipsarevic." Hopefully this will help me go deep into the tournament.'
'At the beginning it was a little bit of a relief because in 2013 I was playing half-injured.
For the amount of painkillers I was taking in 2013, the enzymes of my liver went four times more as they should be. So I was really screwed up. So in the beginning it was a little bit of a relief, saying, Okay, I'm going to take two, three months even off, skip to Australian Open, be hungry, come back.
Since the first injury was a benign tumor, it was way more complicated than anybody thought. Even in the first six or seven or eight months, it wasn't that bad. But then after I did the second surgery, and part of the recovery which didn't go as planned, which we are already a year and something into this, I was really struggling a lot mentally.
My family helped me. We had a beautiful little daughter at that time, so I had something to keep my mind busy,' said Tipsarevic, reflecting about the time he spent away from tennis, before continuing, 'The worst part is at that point I couldn't even really practice because I was basically four months in an actual bed, like not being able to walk on crutches or wheelchair or whatever. If you can practice or run or go to the gym, it's kind of easier.
I even played tennis for a while sitting on a chair because I couldn't stand. I'm not crying you a river here; I'm just telling you how it actually was. To answer your question shortly, I hated tennis at that point and I hated actually other sports.
I couldn't watch other sports because I felt jealous of all the other athletes. They could run and do what they like, and I'm just sitting at home and watching TV. I didn't think about tennis that much.'
Tipsarevic will play Pablo Carreno Busta next on Thursday.