© Ella Ling

Novak Djokovic

Australian Open diary: Tipsy pokes fun at King Djokovic


Janko Tipsarevic is the world number nine and has a Davis Cup title under his belt but he is probably still better known around the circuit for his off-court activities than his ability on the court.

Serbia’s number two player has lived in the shadow of his good friend Novak Djokovic for much of his career but his performances last year showed he is deserving of his top-10 status and could yet go higher.

But the 27-year-old with a fondness for tattoos and Dostoyevsky is beginning to make a name for himself as something of a comedian. He proved himself to be a brilliant impressionist when he impersonated Djokovic at the players’ party in Monte Carlo last year, poking fun at the world number one with a brilliant routine.

Here in Melbourne he is doing a video diary for Eurosport’s Game Set and Mats show (without Mats, unfortunately, as he recovers in hospital after a fall in his apartment). The videos offer some nice insight into the funnier side of events in the locker room and the clip below includes the Serbian sharing some banter for the camera with Russian Dmitry Tursunov (himself a witty blogger on the ATP World Tour website).

“I want to admit something,” Tipsarevic says as he adjusts his hair. “The only reason I’m doing this blog is to boost my popularity in Serbia because lately it’s all been f****** Djokovic. It’s Novak, Novak, Novak.” Tursunov responds with a few wisecracks but then the world number one enters the room and the fun continues. Enjoy it here.

Laura Robson’s decision to wear a hairband in support of the opposition to Margaret Court’s anti gay marrriage tirade raised a few eyebrows here and split opinion. But the English teenager’s efforts drew support from another legend, Billie Jean King, the woman most responsible for securing equal rights in tennis.

“No way, she did? Laura? I would have never believed that,” King said when told of the incident. “She said it was about equality. Bingo that’s exactly what it is.”

New ATP World Tour executive chairman and president Brad Drewett met the press on Wednesday for the first time since he was officially named as Adam Helfant’s replacement. As a former player, the Australian should be able to see both sides of the arguments ringing around the men’s tour at the moment. He says he heard the players’ gripes “loud and clear”. Now comes the hard part. Getting something done.

On the same note, it was interesting to see the Bryan brothers, Mike and Bob, writing on the same subject. In their column in Melbourne newspaper The Age, the twin doubles wizards say the players are more united than ever, which offers hope that progress could actually be made.

It is an intelligent view of the discussion but they also reveal that they were not actually present at the players’ meeting last weekend (they were still travelling from Sydney). Oh, and someone needs to tell them that Djokovic is no longer on the players’ council.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is sporting a natty pair of tennis shoes for this tournament, with silhouettes of the three grand slam titles he won in 2011 specially painted on the sides near the heels.

Knowing just how precious Wimbledon are of their brand, I wonder if Djokovic and adidas checked out if they were actually allowed to use it first?

Finally, someone at Lacoste has a good marketing brain because John Isner and Nicolas Mahut have been united by the French firm. Mahut was already wearing their clothing but now Isner, who won their epic Wimbledon match two years ago, has signed a four-year deal. Smart move (geddit?).