Janowicz Tops Kubot to Reach Wimbledon Semifinals

by John on July 3, 2013

Janowicz Quarter

One thing was certain before today’s Wimbledon quarterfinal match between Jerzy Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot: A Pole would make it to the semifinals. It was the first time in history that two Polish players advanced to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament. The big-serving, 6-foot-8 Janowicz dispatched fellow countryman Kubot 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 on an overcast afternoon at SW19, pounding out 30 aces, winning 90 percent of the points on his first serve, and hitting 58 winners in an awe-inspiring display of power tennis. Janowicz, ranked No. 22, will play British hope Andy Murray in one of Friday’s semifinals. The two Poles were the last men standing in a quarter of the draw that was supposed to pit Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal in the final eight. “Right now, I’m the happiest person in the world,” Janowicz said. “I made semifinal of Grand Slam, my best result ever. I have in my mind Paris Bercy last year… but this is a little bit different.” After qualifying for the Paris Masters last fall, Janowicz defeated five Top 20 players in a row, including Murray, before losing to David Ferrer in the final. Much of the first set today vanished in the blink of an eye, with the average game time one minute and 54 seconds. Janowicz rifled a 140 mph serve in his opening service game and continued to launch bombs throughout the set. Kubot failed to convert one set point opportunity at 5-4 on Janowicz’s serve and then, after saving three break points in the next game, dropped serve. Janowicz served out the first set, after blasting 20 winners in the 40-minute stanza. The 22-year-old Janowicz parlayed a break in the seventh game to take the second set. The final set turned on a single break again, this time in the ninth game. Janowicz closed out the two-hour and seven-minute match with a love game on his serve. Kubot failed to convert any of his six break-point chances, while Janowicz was successful on three of his 10. The 31-year-old Kubot won 30 of 54 points at the net, but the serve-and-volley tactic wasn’t enough to rattle his countryman. “I think he has potential to be [a] Top 5 player in the world,” Kubot said. “I think he’s got very big potential. With his character he can beat everyone. I just want to wish him good luck, and of course I’m going to cross my fingers for him.” The two Poles embraced at the end of the match and exchanged shirts in a display of good sportsmanship and Polish pride.

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