By John Delong, Winston-Salem Open
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Jerzy Janowicz waited a year to get revenge, and he got it emphatically on Tuesday afternoon at the Winston-Salem Open.
Janowicz defeated defending champion Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-2 in second-round action in an awesome display of power.
In last year’s championship match, Rosol had pulled out a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 win, fighting off two championship points and eventually winning the final three games.
Janowicz admitted he had revenge on his mind. He is still looking for his first ATP World Tour singles title, and it stung to let the elusive title slip away last year when he seemed to have the match in hand.
“We played exactly one year ago, last match, and I lost after having match points, after having break points in the second set, so this was a very important match for me today,” Janowicz said.
The 24-year-old from Poland had a huge serving day Tuesday, with nine aces and a 66 percent first-serve percentage. He won 72 percent of his service points, and was never broken.
“He was just playing better than me today,” Rosol said. “I had no answer for him. This tournament he is playing really good so far, and I had no answer. I didn’t play my best tennis and he was serving really well. Every week is not the best situation where you play your best tennis. I try to play well, but sometimes it’s not working.”
Janowicz received a first-round bye as the No. 16 seed, while Rosol had beaten Ernests Gulbis in the first round.
Janowicz came into the tournament after reaching the third round in Cincinnati last week, where he lost to Alexandr Dolgopolov. He had an impressive win over Gael Monfils in the first round.
He’s currently ranked No. 61, far from his career best of No. 14 in 2013 when he went to the Wimbledon semifinals. But he feels like he is ready to break out again, and there’s reason for his success here. He likes the Deco court surface, and he likes the Wilson tennis balls being used this week and at next week’s US Open.
“Actually I’m playing pretty OK tennis right now at this moment,” Janowicz said. “I’m happy because I have US Open (balls) now which is definitely a better ball than the Penn ATP which we were using last week. So I feel actually really good at this moment. Last week I played pretty good tennis. I had some small problems in the match against Dogopolov, but now I’m trying to avoid the mistakes I made last week and play my best tennis here.”
Janowicz reached the third final of his career earlier this year a Montpellier, losing in the final to Richard Gasquet. So yes, he would love to go all the way here this year.
“I would say it like this,” Janowicz said. “It doesn’t matter where, but I would like to win my first title.”
In some other afternoon action, 2014 WSO semifinalist Yen-Hsun Lu knocked off fifth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-3; No. 11 seed Jiri Vesely beat qualifier Martin Klizan 6-3, 6-4; No. 13 seed Steve Johnson turned back Sam Groth 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1; and Diego Schwartzman beat 12-seeded Pablo Andujar 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.