1/10/13 12:52 PM | Johan Lindahl
Janko Tipsarevic takes a clean mental slate into his final tune-up for next week's start of the Australian Open as the Serb begins play as third seed at the Kooyong Classic on Wednesday.
The number nine who completed his first week of the 2013 ATP season with a title in Chennai, comes to Melbourne's iconic Kooyong Club - former home of the Open - with rising confidence on court and hardly a doubt off of it.
That's despite playing second fiddle throughout his career to compatriot Novak Djokovic.
"I'm not only number two in Serbia, I'm No. 2 in New Belgrade, where we both live," joked the bespectacled philosopher of the circuit, the thinking man's player.
"Novak is the best in the world and I'm aware of that," he said prior to starting the eight-man Kooyong event against 2007 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, the likeable Cypriot. "But I try not to think of the game that way.
"Tennis is big enough with prestige, monetary satisfaction and everything else for all of us who want to work hard and do what is takes to be successful."
Tipsarevic is seeded third in a field headed by Czech Tomas Berdych and Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro. He stands ahead of Canadian Milos Raonic.
"About 18 months ago I changed my attitude to the game," said Tipsarevic, winner of four ATP titles. "I thought that four to six hours of hard work on court was enough and then your day ends. I discovered that tennis is a way of life, you need to breathe it every day to achieve results and become a success at the top, top level.
"When I understood that, the results started coming and I became a better player."
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