© Ella Ling

Janko Tipsarevic

Tipsarevic: tennis shows Serbia in a good light


Janko Tipsarevic, the world number 9 and the new columnist for The Tennis Space, discusses the impact that the success of his country’s top players, especially Novak Djokovic, is having on Serbia’s image around the world.

In the last few years, we have had bad luck with leaders of the country, especially Milosevic. That just destroyed the reputation of the country worldwide. A small country like Serbia does not show up on CNN or the BBC or any other big and global news television unless something really big is happening. In the last 10, 15 years, almost all of the news, except sport, was bad so everyone got the wrong impression of Serbs as people.

What tennis is doing and mainly what Novak is doing, is putting the face out there in a bright and good light, because people around the world mainly believe what the media feeds them and what the media needs them to believe. And the truth is normally not exactly like this. But in sport, the good thing is that there is no lying. You have results, you have scoreboards and whether somebody likes it or not, winning is more or less everything.

If you have a war, like we did, in 1991, with Croatia and Bosnia and all these countries and then only a couple of years later you have the Kosovo problem, I am guessing that people around the world do not have a good impression about Serbia. As I said, we had bad luck with leaders and politicians, people who are leading the country for their own benefit, not for the benefit of the people. Everybody was thinking that Serbs were like, I don’t want to say terrorists, but bad people. And that’s honestly not the case.

A few months ago, I tweeted: “I keep telling you, Novak. One more big win and we will join the EU.” Well, I make fun of Novak sometimes, I call him the President. Because, honestly, what this guy is doing internationally for Serbia – apart from our current president who is doing a good job and wanting Serbia to get to the EU – Novak is one of our main weapons to help improve the perspective that people have of the country worldwide. So in a way I was joking, but in a way I was not. The thing is, the way things are going in the Eurozone currently, you would say that joining the EU would not be a good idea, but in my opinion this is the only future for Serbia.



  • Sivanderwalt

    Very true what you are saying : “In sport there is no lying”, but you as well as Novak made our people outside Serbia believe that Serbian people are good people with your good sportmanship on and off the court.  Thanks for that.  I’m just glad that sport and especially tennis give you guys that opportunity to show the world the true colors of Serbian people. 

  • http://twitter.com/novakegyfans novakbiggestfan

    that`s good

  • http://twitter.com/TooPawned No Way

    Well Janko is telling half truth. All leaders in former Yu in 90s were bad people, but what should have Serbs done? Let Croats, and Bosniaks just slaughter Serbian population because they wanted to create their own ethnically clean states? Around 700k-800k Serbs lived in Croatian territories before the war, now there are almost none. You can’t seriously tell me all of them were war criminals?  On all sides there were bad people that have done bad things, that’s war unfortunately but I Janko is selling it like it was Milosevics fault that all went wrong. Idiocy 

    • Kadfazanilete

      Ne lupaj.

    • Milutin

      (btw I am a Serb) Janko told only truth. He never mentioned anything that Croats and Bosnians did. That is for them to think and lament about. Our job as Serbs is to think and examine what we did! Serbs do have a bad reputation in the west, and you can do one of two things, be positive and brong attention to good things we do, or be angry, negative and just shout around how a great injustice has been done to us. Guess which way has any chance of working. And if you want justice… wait few centuries and the history will show you who was right.

  • True words

    Couldnt agree more with Janko, true words,veryyyyyyy true words. 

  • Milutin

    Hvala Janko. You summed it up very nicely. We are very fortunate that now we have people like you, Novak and the girls making the news. Thank you for your efforts, and trust that we will follow your example in letting the good deeds speak.

  • Moran

    Nicely said Janko :)

  • dravoj

    Why argue about something that has passed.All are guilty of war for some more some less.The war is here simply had to happen.Been billed accounts from World War II.Any debt in the Balkans to be paid with interest.This is not Czechoslovakia.

  • Lukinailucina

    current joke in Serbia, after our waterpollo team won EU gold, and handball team silver EU medal, Novak won Australia Open…is that EU gave new condition to Serbia – we will “take” Serbia, or “accept” Serbia as EU member if yuo choose maximum two sport discipline to participate. not more :)

  • Slobo

    From an Economic prospective and a man that Finished Business school in the US, Serbia joining EU would be a very bad mistake. Its like a rat jumping on a sinking ship. Economy would not grow, exports would decrease, and price of living would go up. Its a little more complicated that just this one sentece, but the perfect model for this scenario would be Greece. I am not saying this because I want Serbs to suffer or not succeed, afterall I am Serb myself. I am stating facts and Serbia joining EU would at least economically be a VERY BAD MISTAKE.

  • CCCC

    Janko, stick with tennis, we know it is election time in Serbia, leave the politics and don’t take sides.This is wrong timing for this kind of comments. You lost me today and few more people that I know.

    • Supica

      it’s good they finally show their true faces. My mother like him very much, she 
      often wake up in the morning 2,3,4 am to watch his matches. Today when she saw this she almost cry.

  • Kosovo Serbia

    JOIN E.U. ????? Hahahaha so Serbia can be socially and economically engineered by fascists!! Just look what happened to Iceland, Portugal, Spain and Greece……enough said! These countries have lost their identity, sovereignty and underwear! 

  • http://www.homedesignconsultants.co.uk/ architects hertfordshire

    he as shown some fighting spirit against nalbandan but could not resist the match, i hope he will show some fighting spirit in the upcoming maimi series.

  • Supica

    Serbia has not committed aggression against Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. Bad opinion about Serbs is the work of dirty propaganda of Western media, not the fault of Milosevic. I regret to Janko Tipsarevic joined this filthy propaganda, but not only he,  many young people in Serbia have fallen under the influence of the lies from the  pro-Western media in Serbia, because there are no more free media in Serbia. 
    Janko has gained a great name in the sport and he should stick with that, and history  left to historians and intellectuals.

  • Razocaran

    Most of the Serbian people did not want join the European Union. Janko constantly praises how he  love Serbia and the Serbian people but he promotes the European Unionand, and idea what the Serbian people do not want. What a hypocrite.

  • Dusko

    Novak and Janko are good at tennis and just average or
    maybe even bad at politics. This doesn’t change the most important fact here:
    they (and our girls) did huge job in representing Serbs as normal and healthy
    people and – just maybe – talented more than average (compare – say, British to
    Serbian success in tennis).

    My message to non-serbian readers: mass media are there
    to present things the way you should think they are. The journalism died long
    time ago. Media are just combat units that precede sanctions and bombs. Serbs
    are victim of that new war technology, but we’re not first nor are we the last.
    New victims are on the way as long as you guys believe everything they say.

  • Gabriela172

    I’m from Poland but I love Serbia and serbian tennis players of course :)