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Tipsarevic Reaches First Major QF; Next Plays Djokovic

New York, U.S.A.

Tipsarevic© Getty ImagesJanko Tipsarevic is through to his first major quarter-final in his 31st Grand Slam tournament.

Janko Tipsarevic, the No. 20 seed, advanced on Monday to his first Grand Slam championship quarter-final.

The 27-year-old Serbian knocked out unseeded Spaniard and 2003 runner-up Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2 on Louis Armstrong Stadium at the US Open. It was the pair's first meeting in more than four years.

"I'm really happy, but I'm more happy that my goal of being Top 20 at the end of the year is happening," said Tipsarevic. "I feel really, really lucky that I made a big change at the beginning of this year and things started to pay off almost immediately. It wasn't a pretty beginning of the year,  but I'm doing things right and things are paying off. I'm more happy about that than playing quarter-finals."

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Tipsarevic broke serve in the 12th game, when Ferrero hit a backhand into the net that wrapped up the 59-minute first set.

Ferrero failed to converted two break point opportunities in the second set, which was decided on a tie-break. But Ferrero raised him game to lead 6-2 in the tie-break and clinched the set in 68 minutes when Tipsarevic hit a return long.

Tipsarevic regrouped and in a gruelling third set, the Serbian managed to break Ferrero in the 11th game before closing out to love with a 124 miles per hour ace.

Watch Tipsarevic Interview | Watch Ferrero Interview

Ferrero's resistance ended at 1-2, when he was broken to 15. Tipsarevic grew in confidence and broke a second time, to love, for a 4-1 lead. Minutes later, he wrapped up his 39th win of a career-best year with his 20th ace.

He hit 54 winners overall and converted four of 10 break point opportunities for victory in three hours and 43 minutes.

"I feel that he was a little bit psychologically down [after the third set], of course, which is understandable," reflected Tipsarevic. "He ran out of fuel in his tank because I think first two rounds he played like nine hours. He was much longer on court than me. I feel that that in the third set, apart from me playing and serving extremely well, I feel that that was kind of an issue."

DEUCE Flashback: Tipsarevic's Tightrope (December 2010)

Ferrero, who lost to Andy Roddick in the final eight years ago, won 25 per cent of points on return of serve. He committed 39 unforced errors, one more than Tipsarevic, and hit eight double faults.

"I think physically I didn't get in the fourth set," said Ferrero. "Like maybe not 50 per cent, because I have a little problem in my adductor, so I couldn't resist the whole time. It was very difficult to return his serve because I couldn't move very fast against the ball. Mentally it was tough to recover."

The former World No. 1, now aged 31, was playing his first major championship of the season, following time off to recover from left knee and right wrist surgeries. The World No.105 drops to a 14-7 season record.

Tipsarevic, playing at the US Open at a career-high No. 20 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, will next face his fellow Serbian and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

"I'm going to try to play my game a little bit more aggressive than I did today," said Tipsarevic in explaining how he will try to inflict just the third defeat of the year on his countryman. "I cannot rely on my serve that much against Novak because he's, I think, the best return player out there. Just hope and go for the win. You really need to go for your shots and use the opportunities that you have if you want to have a chance against this guy."

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