After Verdasco's match-saving winner, did Tipsarevic tank?

Chris Chase
January 19, 2011

It was all over except for the celebratory tweets.

Noted social networker Janko Tipsarevic was on the verge of pulling the upset of No. 9 seed Fernando Verdasco in the second round of the Australian Open. The Serbian, ranked No. 49 in the world, won the first two sets and twice served for the match in the fourth. On his second match point it appeared that a turn-around backhand overhead was going to propel him past the Spaniard. And then Verdasco responded with this:

A few more inches and Tipsarevic gets his racquet on the passing shot. A few more inches and Verdasco's shot goes wide. The difference between victory and defeat in matches like this are sometimes razor thin.

After losing this point and another match point immediately after, Tipsarevic essentially threw in the towel. He was blanked in the fourth-set tiebreak and then barely put up a fight in losing the final set, 6-0. By the final games, Tipsy was barely running out points.

In his post-match presser, the Serb denied he tanked:

"Three match points, and in one of those, three volleys ... it was not fitness. It's my fault. I don't want people to get the wrong impression. I didn't tank. I didn't lose on purpose. I didn't have a mental meltdown. I was just dead in the legs."

Verdasco dodged the question when asked, telling reporters that they'd need to ask Tipsarevic about it. (Translation: "Yup.")

Tipsarevic should have been gutted about losing those match points and blowing opportunities to pull the upset on his serve. Once that tiebreak began, everyone in the stadium and watching on TV knew how the match was going to end. But that's no excuse for quitting. Have some self-respect. Put up a fight. Or, at the very least, give the appearance that you're trying to put up one.