Jerzy Janowicz has been blunt all week, stating the only reason he plays tennis is because it's fun. After today's thrilling 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Sam Querrey, Janowicz was clearly having a blast.
Querrey served for the match in the second set and up a break late in the third, but Janowicz's power and resilience was too much. After the match, an exhilarated Janowicz jolted into the air and received a vociferous applause from the crowd.
In the first set, the American showed a resemblance of his former Top 20 self from two years ago. Querrey hit six aces and broke Janowicz's serve twice, showcased by his deadly forehand.
The Californian looked to be in cruise control in the second set. After getting an early service break, he served for the match at 5-4. Earlier in the week, Querrey said, "All I care about is my serve and my forehand. That is what wins matches for me." Given this quote, the 26-year-old can have no qualms about the position he was in.
Using an array of drop shots and powerful forehands, the Pole won the next three games- including two breaks- to even the match.
Still on serve in the third set, Janowicz took a medical timeout after feeling a pull in his left foot, "I played an inside out forehand and I stretched it. I took some pain killers, but I will be ready for tomorrow."
Soon after, Querrey broke serve after a lengthy exchange to take a 4-3 lead.
But once again, with the match in its sights, the 23-year-old Janowicz continued to play an array of drop shots and power forehands. As the Pole loosened up, Querrey began to tighten. Janowicz proceeded to break, hold and then break again for the comeback victory.
"I kept fighting to the end. Querrey got tired... It's always nice to win those kinds of matches."
Janowicz, the 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist, will have a chance to win his first career ATP tournament tomorrow. When asked during the press conference what that tournament win would mean, Janowicz said,with a big, sarcastic smile, "Ask me tomorrow if I win."
Whether it's on the court or in the press room, Jerzy Janowicz is just trying to have fun.
Earlier in the day, in a match of converging styles, No. 7 seed Lukas Rosol squeaked by the No. 9 seed Yen-Hsun Lu 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to his first career hard court final. In an entertaining seesaw battle, the gangly Czech-native used to his overpowering game to counterattack the diminutive Lu's speed and great returning ability.
While the native of Taiwan struck first with a break of serve in the first set, Rosol used an array of heavy ground strokes to rebreak. And with the match knotted at 5-all, Rosol ripped Lu's 117 mph serve for a winner, and served out the set.
In the second set, Lu came out clicking on all cylinders. He broke at love at 2-all and never looked back. Due to his steadiness and ability to take the ball on the rise, Lu performed better during longer rallies. But this was not an easy task because of Rosol's big forehand and serve combo.
While Lu won 78 percent of the points on his first serve, he only converted his first serve 51 percent of the time. And at 4-4, he strung together several first serve misses at an untimely juncture. Rosol won 52 percent of Lu's second serves and at 0-40, he broke on a masterful touch drop volley. While he faced two break points in the subsequent game, as usual, Rosol used his big serve and forehand to avert further trouble.
Rosol, who was the beneficiary of defaults from both John Isner and Ryan Harrison this week, added, "Of course it helped. It allowed me to save energy. And it allowed to practice and work on my game with my coach."
Rosol will be extra-fresh when he faces Janowicz in the Winston-Salem Open final tomorrow at 12:30 pm on CBS. They last met in Marseille last August, with Janowicz winning 6-2, 6-4.