“I am currently on an embargo from my wife not allowing me to do any more,” said Janko Tipsarevic, who sports a six-pack of tattoos on his arm and is one of the few players you’ll meet who can discuss Dostoevski and Family Guy plot lines with equal depth and vigor.
While he won't be getting any more ink, not everything remained as is for the Serb before the Australian Open. The long-time Tecnifibre player switched strings from Tecnifibre Black Code to the new Tecnifibre ATP Razor Code, the brand tells TENNIS.com. The polyester string, available in blue and carbon colors, comes in 16, 17 and 18 gauge versions.
So what’s the difference in playability?
“The Tecnifibre ATP Razor Code is more durable, has better best tension maintenance, and is more dynamic than Tecnifibre Black Code,” says Paul Kid, Tecnifibre General Manager, USA.
This season, Tipsarevic is using ATP Razor Code 17 gauge blue string. He strings "five racquets per match and two racquets per practice at 24 and 25 kilos" (about 53 and 55 pounds).
Pursuing better playability has compelled Tipsarevic to experiment with string type and tension in the past. At the U.S. Open two years ago, he changed from Tecnifibre’s Red Code to Black Code. At that time, Tipsarevic was stringing his T-Fight 325 V02 Max strung with the 17 gauge Black Code co-poly strings at 24 kilos (about 52.8 pounds).
"For a short time, I was using just Red Code on the racquet because I had a lot more power from the racquet and didn’t need it from the strings," Tipsarevic told us then. "I [switched] to the Black Code because the string, I feel, is much faster and the ball leaves the racquet much faster than the Red Code string."
It doesn’t look like it’s taken Tipsarevic too long to adjust to the new Razor filling his racquet face. The world No. 9 is 7-0 this season, capturing his fourth career title in Chennai earlier this month and gutting out successive five-set wins over Lukas Lacko and Julien Benneteau to reach the fourth round of the Aussie Open for the first time in nine career appearances. He faces 10th-seeded Nicolas Almagro next.
Last week, Tecnifibre announced it signed a five-year pact to provide the official racquet, string, bag, and accessories of the ATP World Tour, as well as becoming an official sponsor of the ATP World Tour Finals through 2017. Tipsarevic will play a part in the partnership, serving as a mentor to four selected Tecnifibre juniors who will be "On the Road to the ATP World Tour," a promotional program that will follow the players on the ATP's web site. Each of the four juniors will spend a week on tour with Janko at an ATP event.