By John Delong
Some people call Jerzy Janowicz the “Pole-verizer” because of his booming serves.
On Thursday afternoon, it would be appropriate to call him the streak-killer as well.
The 23-year-old rising star ended qualifier David Goffin’s Cinderella run at the Winston-Salem Open and snapped Goffin’s 25-match winning streak with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 win in the quarterfinals.
Janowicz broke Goffin twice in each set, including the final games of each set, in a display of power that included serves as high as 143 miles per hour. Those are the fastest serves in the tournament so far.
“I’m really happy because today I played good tennis,” Janowicz said. “David had an unreal winning streak, so I had to do a lot of things. Everything was looking good today.”
Goffin, who came to Winston-Salem riding a 20-match winning streak after winning three Challengers and an ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel, Austria in the past five weeks, won two qualifying matches and then three in the Main Draw.
But playing his sixth match in six days, the 5-11, 150-pounder was overpowered by the 6-8 Janowicz.
“It was a good week for me,” Goffin said. “I came from the qualification and I played three very good matches in a row against three very good players, so I’m pretty happy with my week. It’s positive for New York.
“I’m very proud of the streak, but now I’m going to start a new one in New York. My goal now is to do my best to win my first match in the US Open, and then go match after match.”
Janowicz, currently ranked No. 52 and unseeded in this tournament, was ranked as high as No. 14 last December. The 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist had struggled early in the year after a foot injury, with a trip to the semifinals at Montpelier as his best showing.
He said he is just now rounding into form on the hard courts after playing two clay-court events after Wimbledon, and taking a break in his hometown of Lodz, Poland. He lost in the first round in Toronto in his first summer hard court match, then went to the third round last week in Cincinnati with a win over Grigor Dimitrov.
“I was practicing really hard before the U.S. trip,” Janowicz said. “Toronto didn’t go my way but I had to get used to the conditions of outdoor because I didn’t practice on (outdoor) hard courts, because we don’t have them in my home town. So I had to get used to it a little bit and luckily, I found my form.”
For sure, he was happy with all facets of his game on Thursday. He won 71 percent of his first-serve point and 58 percent of his second-serve points, getting broken just once.
“I felt really good on my second serve,” Janowicz said. “I felt really confident on my second serve, I was going for it from time to time. And someone told me I had 16 drop shots today and won 11, so that’s pretty good.”
“He served really good,” Goffin said of Janowicz. “He’s a tall guy, he hit the ball really strong. Today I think he played a really good match. I have to say, today he was better.”
Janowicz’s opponent in the semifinals will be the winner of Thursday night’s quarterfinal between Sam Querrey and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.