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Me and My Racket: Janko Tipsarevic

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Originally published on: 23/05/13 00:00

Can you remember your very first racket? I believe it was a Slazenger. It was really tiny. I liked it because it was bright yellow!

Are racket cosmetics something you’re interested in? Not so much now. Obviously, if Tecnifibre gave me a pink racket in 2014 then I’d have something to say though.

What do you look for in a racket? I want a perfect balance between power and control. Every tournament is different. You can’t really rely on a racket if it only has one aspect – only power or control. Even though I play a lot from the baseline I like to think of myself as an all-round player so this is why it’s important that I have a racket that I can use for every single shot.

Do you customise your racket? Tecnifibre customises my racket but I can promise I’m really easy to work with! I’m not spoiled in terms of giving too much attention to detail.

What is the finished product like? My racket weighs exactly 341 grames when it’s ready for me to play with, with a little bit more balance in the head. I string them up at 26 or 27 kilos but that also depends on the time of the day, indoors, clay etc, so that changes a little bit.

Highly-ranked players must be offered some tempting deals to use and endorse certain manufacturers’ rackets – maybe even when those rackets might not suit their game. What do you like about Tecnifibre products? I think that if you choose a racket because of the racket – rather than for picking up the money from another deal – eventually it will pay off because you will play your best tennis and you’ll feel happy about yourself. My Tecnifibre deal finished last year or two years ago. I had other offers, but I wasn’t even thinking of changing to another brand because I’d been playing good tennis with Tecnifibre, they are really supportive and they’ve been taking care of me since the age of 17 or 18.

How many rackets do you take on court ? Six or seven.

Are they strung differently? Generally the day before a match I string my rackets in two or three tensions, and then I make a decision about which tension I want to use for the match. I also get one racket a little bit looser and one a little bit tighter especially in a Grand Slam. In best-of-five-set matches you never know how long you’ll be on court.

Do you have any racket-based superstitions? I like to put my own grips on, that’s the only thing. Some of the guys get the stringers to put their grips on, but I like to use it as part of my focus regime before a match, putting my grips on by myself sat in the corner.

Do you find stringing quality varies from tournament to tournament? It depends. Now, they use electronic machines, but sometimes you find different machines string slightly different. But this is why we arrive earlier at tournaments – especially at Grand Slams – to see how the tensions are and I try to stay with the same stringer throughout a tournament.

To read the interview with Janko in its entirety check out the April 2013 issue of tennishead in print or digital.

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Tennishead magazine brings you the very best tennis articles, interviews with the great players, tennis gear and racket reviews, tennis coaching tips plus much more
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