I don't know if anyone has posted the interview yet, the AO was a bit late putting it on their site...
Here it is, it's a nice read.
Saturday, 19 January, 2008
Q. You were so close to causing a huge upset. How does it feel?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Surprisingly, I'm not feeling that bad today. Normally, when I play a tough match and I have some chances to win, especially this tough and against a player like Roger, I'm feeling bad the day after.
So today like I got a lot of positive vibes also from the players in the locker room, my family, my coach. But, well, I think I'm going to be more disappointed tomorrow than I am today.
Q. You obviously had a pre‑match plan.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: The only ‑‑ my opinion, still, against Roger, and not too many players have beaten him in the last couple of years ‑‑ the only way to beat him is to be aggressive. And he needs to ‑‑ he doesn't need to know what's coming to him. Because if you're playing just a one‑sided game he's ending up as a winner pretty fast and really easy.
So my plan was to be aggressive, and then on the other side, try to make him work for the points that he's winning.
Q. The coach, in the media guide you have a coach; in the notes you have another coach. Who is your coach? How many do you have?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: It's my mistake, because I didn't change it with the ATP. Since this season I started ‑‑ actually, since the end of last season, on the preparation period in December, I started working with Jose Perlas, a Spanish coach, and the preparation was really good, really successful.
I started off kind of on the wrong foot getting sick in Doha; had to retire the second round. But I picked it up. We were working pretty hard here in Australia for a week before the tournament started.
Well, I can say the hard work paid off, because I was really close in beating the No. 1 seed.
Q. The feeling in the stadium, did that help you?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Of course it did. I still think that the stadium likes to see a competitor fighting and trying to beat the seeded player, especially somebody like Roger Federer. But I was trying not to get too emotional. I was trying to be focused. I was not, as you maybe saw, I was not cheering for myself too loud. Just trying to stay focused.
But in the end, I mean, against Roger it's so hard, because he's playing every point like point for point. And even when you're up like 40‑Love, the game is far, far from over.
Q. You held serve eight times in the fifth. During one of those changeovers were you thinking to yourself, This time I've got him?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Actually, no. The only deal which ‑‑ I was feeling really comfortable on court today, but the only thing which was causing me a lot of trouble is to try and read his serve.
So at the end of the match I ended up guessing on the side where he's going to serve, because the shoulder rotation that he has makes it extremely difficult to see where is he going to serve according to go toss.
So this was the only thing which I was feeling uncomfortable with. The rest I was feeling pretty good on court.
Q. It's been said that in order to compete with Roger you have to delude yourself into thinking you can compete with Roger. How do you handle the issue of belief in a match like this, self‑belief?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: My opinion about this is that you ‑‑ you have to believe that you're going to beat Roger Federer when you go on court, as stupid as it might sound, as I said before the match.
If you go out there thinking I'm going to play a good match, make him sweat for his money or something like that, it's not going to work. Because then when the chances are given to you, and even Roger Federer is giving chances, you're not going to use them because you're going to be too afraid from victory.
So I went on court with the idea that I can win. I was close. I lost because he was better in the important moments of the match.
Q. Novak said he said something to you before the match.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I was speaking with Novak, because obviously he played him, like, more times than I did. He gave me some tips, and I used them properly. It just ‑‑ it could have gone my way or his way. It was I mean 9‑7 in the fifth ‑‑ was it 9‑7 in the fifth? 10‑8, sorry. I forgot, sorry.
Q. Do you care to share any of that advice?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Sorry?
Q. That advice that Novak gave you.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I don't want to go too much into techniques. Sorry, it's like I don't want to ‑‑ you know what I mean?
Q. Even if you were not afraid to play against Roger, were you surprised yourself to stay during almost all the five sets at his level and to keep your level?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: The one thing I can say proud about myself, because I was known during the years that in parts of the match I'm playing really good, but then my focus goes down and then for like three games I'm not on the court. I make a lot of unforced errors and my focus is going on the completely other way.
So I am satisfied that I fixed this. I'm satisfied that even when I was losing, I was not losing because I was making force or making some stupid mistakes. I was losing because the other guy was outplaying me at the moment.
Q. I've often heard you say you and the other Serbian players have created what you have out of mud. I wondered if there's ever a moment if a match, or in this match specifically, where you just thought, How did I get here? This is amazing.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: No. Actually, no. I'm thinking about this normally when we're sitting having a drink and thinking how we start it all. But on the match, if you get too emotional about this, I don't think it's helping you, like, tactic‑wise and helps you stay focused in thinking about your game plan against players.
Q. We are used to hearing that the one who wins has made the most important point. But today you had three break points, and you made three breaks. He had 21 break points, he made only 5. That doesn't mean anything to you?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Also, people need to understand that also Roger Federer is human and that he's beatable, and also that he's feeling the pressure on a certain point of a match. It's extremely, extremely difficult for the guys on top, and I've said this during the years.
That every guy who goes on court and believes that he can beat like a top 5, top 10 player, is, as I like to say, releasing his hand and playing his best tennis. These guys have to keep it up, year after year, you know.
But also, you have to understand that every time when you have a chance, you don't have to play something extreme like, I don't know, like fast backhand down the line or something like that.
I was lucky that in these points I was focused and thinking that he's also human and he can make mistakes. Not trying to overplay.
Q. Another thing is he made the 96 winners versus your 52. But 39 were aces, and then there were at least 20 first serves that you couldn't read well, as you said before. So that means from the baseline when you start playing after the first serve you compete even better than him?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I think that I was feeling more comfortable tonight or today, whatever, from the baseline than Roger did. I was handling his slice pretty well. I was using my legs, bending down as I should, as my coach told me.
But I wasn't serving that bad. The only problem was that I was not able to read his serve. And if we had more rallies from the baseline, maybe it will go my way.
Q. He actually said that you will play him from the baseline. Was there a point in the fourth set that you started thinking about the fifth one and just let it go?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I was ‑‑ I was a little bit physically down, because I was working really hard for five, six weeks during the preseason. But being sick for a week is like ‑‑ it's decreasing your fitness a little bit. And, also, a week before a Grand Slam I was practicing hard, but I couldn't stay longer than one‑and‑a‑half hours on the court, you know, trying to be fresh for the ‑‑ when the week starts.
So I was a little bit tired, as you might see, but I was ‑‑ I was having a game plan to try and give it all in the fifth, like I did in the first round match.
Q. Everybody's talking about Djokovic, but now with your serve, with Ivanovic and Jankovic, there are many Serbian players. How do you explain this?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: There is, I said it a lot, there is no explanation for the good players that we have from Serbia. Obviously the main popularity of the sport is coming from the two girls, Jelena and Ana and Novak.
A lot of people in Serbia don't understand that in sport, it's normal to have this positive jealousy of the players who are in front of you. And I also said it to myself a lot of times. If Novak can do it, why can't I do it? And maybe I'll never do it, but this is making me be better and improving my tennis.
You often see nations where when one guy starts the other guy starts and it's like a wave coming with young players. Now it's getting better, but, I mean, still I have to tell you the truth: We don't have one hard court in the country, so it's kind of difficult.
Q. You think Federer was nervous? After the break he started walking the wrong way.
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I don't think he was nervous ‑‑ he was maybe like not completely focused, but obviously in some points of the match I was feeling that he was nervous, which is normal.
Q. Do you think this match is going to change your career?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Even if I came out as a loser from today's match I think I learned a lot. I hope I earned some respect from the players around the world. And of course this match is definitely going to help me in the season, so we'll see what happens.
Q. Even if it may sound novel at this question, if after four hours and 27 minutes you cannot read the serve of Federer, how many hours and how many matches do you think you need in order to be able to?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I think that players who play him more than five times still cannot read his serve.
Q. So there is no hope?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: You have ‑‑ it's more like a tactic that you have, points of the match when it's important, where if you look at a percentage, where is he serving most.
But his toss is always the same. He turns around with his shoulder always the same. And then, I mean, serve is the only stroke in tennis which only depends on you. So if you hide it well, then it's extremely difficult to read it.
Q. You have a special shot on your backhand; am I wrong?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Yes.
Q. When you play with one hand on the side. Can you try and explain?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Well, obviously it wasn't working very well today. But, no, this is ‑‑ this is actually a shot when I cannot reach the ball, and the only way for me to reach it is to play maybe a high‑low, which the opponent is normally smashing in the other direction. I try to surprise him, and sometimes it actually works.
Q. Does it hurt?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: No, it doesn't hurt. But actually, if you play it good it is actually ‑‑ how you say, efficient? Because normally players from this side are expecting a high‑low ball, like a low slice or something like that. But today was not really efficient.
Q. Is it true that you read a lot?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Yeah, I try. Normally tennis players have hard the life is, traveling all the time. We do have a lot of time, and I spend some of it reading, yes.
Q. What kind of books? What are you reading right now?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Right now I am rereading for the third time the book called Idiot from Dostojevski. Sounds funny, but ‑‑
Q. Is it the tattoo?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: It's the tattoo I have on my left arm, yes.