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Novak The Key To Fantasy Success

Draw Challenge

Winners, Djokovic© Tijana KrsticTijana Krstic (centre) and her best friend, Marija Manić, met Novak Djokovic four years ago at an exhibition match in Belgrade.

It’s been another big season for Serbian tennis. Novak Djokovic won three Grand Slam titles and finished year-end World No. 1; Janko Tipsarevic made a striking impression when he entered the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as an alternate; and now, Serbia’s Tijana Krstic is revealed as the winner of the 2011 ATP World Tour Draw Challenge Circuit.

In her first year playing the Draw Challenge, Tijana finished first out of 30,515 people to win a VIP trip for two to the 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena.

"I knew that I had a chance to win long before [the end of the season]," explained Tijana.  "I was in fourth place after the Rome Masters 1000, but I couldn't reduce the difference in points until the Paris Draw Challenge. I put [Roger] Federer to win the tournament, while others ahead of me put Andy Murray. I knew I had won the Challenge after Federer got into the final.

"I have never been before, so I'm very excited about the prize because it is a dream-come-true. I always wanted to see a big match."

Tijana will take her best friend and roommate, Marija Manić, to London with her, after crediting her friend with both alerting her to the Challenge, and giving her valuable advice throughout the season. Both are huge Djokovic fans, and it is the World No. 1’s success this season that Tijana believes was the key to her own victory.

"I always put Djoković as winner when he played the tournament, and I'm sure that if he didn't perform so good this year, I wouldn't have won this Challenge," she declared, before further elaborating on her tactics. "For first and second-round picks I studied the head-to-heads, and for other matches I guessed. I follow tennis and I knew all the players’ current form. That was my criteria for picking."

A keen tennis fan, Tijana has attended the Serbia Open for the past two years and witnessed all her nation’s home Davis Cup ties. She was also one of the 100,000 people who turned out in Belgrade to welcome home Djokovic after his Wimbledon success.

"Here in Serbia, we have a tradition of waiting for all the athletes after winning big competitions, but none of the athletes or teams have ever been greeted by so many people," she recalled. "That was one of the nights that everyone will remember for life, and especially Novak, I think.

"He has done a lot for Serbia. As well as being the best player we ever had, he is a great man. He is kind with fans, always ready for jokes," explained Tijana, who had the opportunity to meet Djokovic four years ago at an exhibition match in Belgrade. "He helps people with problems by giving money to charity. And of course, he is great showman. Every time I watch him on TV, I am proud that we have such a man in our country."

The Draw Challenge returns in 2012 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, with the opportunity to win more great prizes.

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