Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Emotional Jerzy Janowicz wins battle of Poles

Poland's Jerzy Janowicz celebrates beating compatriot Lukasz Kubot during day nine of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.

Jerzy Janowicz won yesterday's all-Polish battle against close friend Lukasz Kubot to become the youngest Wimbledon semi-finalist since opponent Andy Murray four years ago.

The imposing 22-year-old, standing at 6ft 8in, powered past his Davis Cup team-mate to set up a clash with home favourite Murray.

Firing 30 aces, Janowicz wrapped up a 7-5 6-4 6-4 victory over world number 130 Kubot in two hours and seven minutes.

The win sees him becomes Poland's first ever man to reach a grand slam singles semi-final and the occasion clearly meant a lot to both players, who embraced and swapped shirts at the end of the match.

"I am just really, really happy," a clearly overwhelmed Janowicz said. "I didn't expect to be able to go that far in a grand slam, in Wimbledon.

"I am just very happy. I have not many words to say right now. I am just really happy and it doesn't matter if I am the first or second [Pole in the semi-finals]. This is my first semi-final and I have nothing to say, basically."

Fans on Court One clearly had their minds elsewhere, as cheers rang out from giant screen which is attached to the outside of the court and was showing coverage from Andy Murray's match at the time.

After umpire Carlos Ramos asked spectators to focus on the match in front of them rather than the Murray clash on Centre Court, Janowicz went through to take the set for a two-set lead.

Kubot, bidding to become the lowest-ranked man to reach a grand slam semi-final since 2000, continued to battle on despite the deficit. However, it always looked a matter of time before Janowicz fought through and the decisive moment came in the ninth game when he broke.

It allowed him to serve for the match, dropping to the floor after the winning point. The pair embraced on court, exchanged their shirts, and Poland's big day at Wimbledon was complete.

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