Sam Querrey defeated No. 5 seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the Winston-Salem Open semifinals for the third straight year. Oddly enough, this marks the third straight time that Querrey has defeated Garcia-Lopez by a score of 6-4 in the third set.
The 6-5 Querrey relied on his powerful serve for 22 aces and his dominant forehand to dictate play against the tricky Spaniard.
Both players held serve the entire first set. In the tiebreaker, Querrey made missed a routine forehand to go down an early mini-break and never recovered.
The tides turned, however, in Querrey's first service game of the second set. Garcia-Lopez had three break points and was poised to take the control of the match. But Querrey fought back with his biting slice serve and strong forehand.
Garcia-Lopez said, "If I won this game, there is a great chance. I was playing great tennis with my forehand... 2-0 and serving, it's my match to win. But he hit some great shots to earn it."
Tied at 2, Querrey seized the momentum to win the next four games and take the set.
In the final set, Querrey displayed tremendous patience, waiting for his opportunity to pounce. And that came at 4-all. With two break points, the 6-5 American shot a laser backhand down-the-line. And with the match on his shoulders, Querrey did what he does best. He served it out with two service winners.
"My confidence is going up every match here. It's great to have this event right before the US Open."
The 6-8 Jerzy Janowicz has always had a rare combination of athleticism, power and raw talent. After reaching the 2013 Wimbledon semifinals and achieving a career-high ranking of No. 14 several months later, most anticipated the 23-year-old would remain there for good.
But in 2014, higher expectations and the grueling demands of the ATP Tour drained the Pole to No. 52 in the world. But based on his recent performance, Janowicz has found his game and is a serious threat in Winston-Salem and New York.
Using his lethal serve- even hitting the fastest in the US Open Series at 143 mph- and forehand combo, Janowicz broke David Goffin's 25 match win streak with a routine 6-4, 6-2 victory. Janowicz, who called his opponent's winning streak "unreal," was thrilled with his performance after the match. When asked what most pleased him about his game today, Janowicz bluntly stated, "Everything."
Goffin, a consistent baseliner who won four straight tournaments, was complimentary of his opponent,"He's really good. He's tall. Today, he played a really good match... He was really aggressive. He hit everything on the line."
After beating world No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov last week and reaching his first semifinals since March, Janowicz looks to have finally found his consistency.
"It's nice. I didn’t play so well in the past few months. I'm coming back. Things are looking really good. I played good tennis."
No. 7 seed Lukas Rosol opens against No. 9 seed Yen-Hsun Lu on Friday at 3pm. Sam Querrey and Jerzy Janowicz will follow at 6:30 pm.