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Beyond the Baseline

Janko Tipsarevic: Roger Federer is 'everything but lucky'

LONDON -- At 31 years old, Federer continues to be the most resilient player in the game, the Cal Ripken Jr. of tennis. He has never retired in the middle of a match in his career and you can count on one hand the number of times he's withdrawn from a tournament after it began. After his 6-3, 6-1 loss to Roger Federer in the first round of the ATP World Tour Finals, Janko Tipsarevic was asked whether Federer's physical durability was due to simple good luck. Tipsarevic said it was Federer's professionalism that ensured his durability, not luck.

"I think Roger Federer is everything but lucky," Tipsarevic said. "People see him play this flawless tennis and saying, 'Oh, life is so easy for Roger, he's so talented.' I mean he is talented, but there's so much work behind that and so much thinking to improve -- at least what I think. The fact that he was born with that magic hand is a plus.

"But I think Roger Federer is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, professionals that this sport has ever had. Throughout his career, he was always putting tennis as the No. 1 thing in his life, never doing anything to damage his professional tennis career. Because of that, and because of the professionalism that he has and the time that he devoted to this game, this is the reason why he has such high durability and was almost never injured in his career.

"This is my take on that. It has nothing to do with luck."

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