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Tipsarevic riding a wave in New York

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Originally published on: 08/09/11 11:35

While the rain continues to dampen the mood in the absence of a roof at Flushing Meadows, Janko Tipsarevic is feeling particularly chirpy.

The longer the weather continues to cause chaos in New York, the longer the Serb stays in a tournament at which he has delivered a career-best Grand Slam run.

In the last eight of a major tournament for the first time in his career, the 27-year-old Serb, suffice to say, is chuffed to bits.

“I’m really happy,” said Tipsarevic after negotiating Augustin Gensse, Philipp Petzschner, Tomas Berdych and former world No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. “I’m doing things right and things are paying off.”

Up next for the world No.20 is his fellow Belgrade native and the leading light of the tour this year, Novak Djokovic; both a close friend and a man whose game he knows particularly well.

“We practice really often. Really, really often,” said Tipsarevic. “In Montreal and Cincinnati [we played together] almost every second day. We know each other really well.”

Well aware that he faces the ultimate test in trying to trump Djokovic, Tipsarevic admits that even he has been astounded by his Davis Cup teammate’s phenomenal year, but believes the pair will receive equal support from home fans when they finally take to court for their quarter-final clash.

“It’s really a joke. I cannot believe that somebody lost, how many, two, three matches this year,” he said of the world No.1. As for the support, he added: “Nobody will cheer against a Serbian guy. Maybe a few of them more for me because I’m obviously a big underdog in that match and everybody’s generally cheering for an underdog, but I think it’s going to be shared. I would say 50/50 really.”

Even if Tipsarevic does become his compatriot’s latest victim, the likeable right-hander is delighted in the knowledge that his US Open run will take him to a career-high ranking after the tournament; which is, he says, his ultimate goal.

“I’m only focusing now on my ranking. I don’t know why. I am like that. When I was a baby, I take a doll, and until I break it I don’t want a new one. I’m just now focused. I’m looking at the 360 points waiting for me on the other side of the net, and I need to beat whoever I need to in order to improve that.”

The tour journeyman, who his left arm tattooed with the words ‘beauty will save the world’, knows he has to be aggressive and take the game to his close friend from the off. If he fails, things could turn ugly.

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