Top seed Janko Tipsarevic hopes to create magic with doubles partner Leander Paes in India
World No 9 Serbian Janko Tipsarevic is the top seed at the upcoming season-opening January 2-8 Aircel Chennai Open. However, it's his doubles campaign with India ace Leander Paes that the super Serb is eagerly anticipating. Paes and Tipsarevic have got together for India's only ATP Tour event after the Indian split with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi recently. While Bhupathi-Rohan Bopanna have been given top billing at the Chennai tournament, second-seeds Paes-Tipsarevic will be no pushovers.
Best tip: Top seed Janko Tipsarevic. Pic/Getty Images
Tipsarevic, having been to Chennai not once or twice but three times before, enjoys the crowd support here. And this time round, he believes the fans will be even more vociferous considering his partnership with "one of the world's greatest doubles players", Paes.
Doubles ace Leander Peas.
Excerpts from an interview:
How do you view the season-opening Chennai Open?
It's a great event... it's as simple as that. And that's the reason I'm playing in it for the fourth time.
Could you share some of your significant experiences in Chennai?
Even though I somehow never expected it coming here, I'd like to admit that the crowd here has been amazing. And that's true even if I'm playing against an Indian player. It gets even more exciting especially if it's a night fixture.
How is the Chennai Open -- India's only ATP event -- different from other ATP events worldwide?
The main difference here is the food. I love Indian food. As far as the tournament goes, it's the people that make all the difference. The people are really polite, easy going and have a lot of respect towards players.
You will be partnering Leander Paes in the men's doubles this time. How did this partnership come about?
I have known Lee for a long time now on the Tour. He is one of the best doubles players in the history of this sport and that's the reason I'm very happy to have this opportunity to partner up with him.
What's your take on Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, India's topmost doubles pairing of all time?
I think both Lee and Mahesh are fine athletes. They are great representatives of the Indian flag
wherever they go.
Given Paes' popularity here, does that put you under a bit of pressure to win here with him?
I normally play better when the crowd is behind me, and having Lee on my side is just going to reinforce that.
I'm definitely looking forward to this tournament.