Janko Tipsarevic: "My career has been a psychological rollercoaster"


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Janko Tipsarevic: "My career has been a psychological rollercoaster"

Janko Tipsarevic ended his career after the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid. On 5th December 2010, he won the Davis Cup with the Serbian national team after beating France in the final. In 2011, Janko played his best year, reaching five finals and winning two (Kuala Lumpur and Moscow) and participating for the first time in the ATP World Tour Final, during which he beat World No.1 Novak Djokovic.

In a new entry in Behind the Racquet's photo-essay series, the Serbian discussed his career: “I retired at the end of last year. I have recently been expanding my academy to four new cities around the world, while coaching part time on the side.

After my many years on tour the number one thing I would teach others is persistence. Persistence helped me push through the tremendous amount of mixed emotions that came during my injuries. I am pretty unfortunate dealing with seven surgeries in the last five years.

It is a psychological rollercoaster. Though difficult while going through them, it has allowed me to be a better father, husband, business owner, friend and son. I have learned that in order to grow as a person you need to learn how to deal with adversity while also being humble in times of hope.

During my injuries there were definitely some serious mental problems I was dealing with, you can even use the term depression to describe how I felt. Dealing with all the ups and downs, doctors and opinions, you just become f**king insane from not knowing what to do.

In the end I do not think the general advice of ‘stay positive’ is helpful. There were many times where I fought my way back from injury, played challengers, grinded back, to only get hurt again and start over. I am generally not an optimistic person, or am a fan of optimistic people.

I don’t believe that optimists can truly evaluate the situation at hand, while always trying to look on the bright side. I prefer to look at myself as a realist. To see your current situation and understand it to be s**t, while knowing that you are strong, wise and brave enough to face it because there is no other choice, is the only way to live in my opinion.

Before I reached my potential I can honestly say that I was a coward and didn’t fully accept who I was. It took some time to realize, out of juniors, that I wasn’t playing against boys anymore and the days of trying to be cool and not giving 110% had to be over.

I remember watching Nadal play this up and coming star, Tsonga, at the Australian Open. Nadal was getting blown off the court and was down about two sets to love and 4-1 in the third. On an insignificant point Nadal hits a forehand winner and screams ‘Vamos’ as hard as he can.

You could see he truly believed he could win. He ended up losing that set, and the match, 6-1. That’s when I truly realized how big of a coward I was. Here I am acting cool when Rafael Nadal is not embarrassed to show, not only the 15,000 people in Rod Laver Arena, but the whole world, that he is giving maximum effort and still getting killed.

It showed me that he isn’t afraid of failure. Working on autopilot of doing the bare minimum of everything you need to do won’t help you live out your dreams. Looking back if I didn’t reach top 10, or the other career accomplishments I had, I don’t think I would’ve been happy because I would have known that I left some on the table.

If I realized all this earlier I am sure that I would have been in the top 10 longer. I am in a really good place now, probably working more hours than ever before and not listening to my friends who are saying, ’Now that you are retired you can enjoy life and relax’. I am very excited for the next chapter in my life and becoming a father to a second child”.