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Tearful Janowicz Into Wimbledon SFs

Wimbledon, England

Janowicz© AFP/Getty ImagesJerzy Janowicz burst into tears after securing his place in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Jerzy Janowicz, the No. 24 seed, who is competing in just his fifth major championship, stands one match away from reaching the final at The Championships.

Janowicz kept his nerve to defeat fellow Pole Lukasz Kubot 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday on No. 1 Court. It was the 40th tour-level match win of his career. At the end, they swapped match shirts. Janowicz was in tears.

“Right now, I'm the happiest person in the world,” said Janowicz. “I made semi-final of Grand Slam, my best result ever. I have in my mind Paris Bercy last year… but this is a little bit different.”

At 22 years, 236 days, Janowicz is the youngest man to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since Andy Murray (22 years, 51 days) in 2009. He will now meet second seed Murray on Friday.

Looking ahead to his semi-final against Murray, Janowicz said, “I have to be focused on my game. It will be a really cool match, a really nice atmosphere there. For sure, [the] crowd will not really help me, but we'll see how it's going to be. This is my first semi-final ever, so I don't know what to expect."

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Much of the opening exchanges in the first set passed in a blink of an eye, with the average game time at one-minute and 54 seconds. Kubot was unable to convert one set point opportunity at 5-4 on Janowicz’s serve. It only increased the tension. Kubot then relied on his serve to save three break points at 5-5. 

But Janowicz was not to be denied as he struck two powerful groundstrokes that Kubot could not handle at the net. Janowicz clinched the 40-minute set, having won 91 per cent of first service points. He hit 20 winners, including 10 aces. 

JanowiczJanowicz grew in confidence and quickly took advantage of any of Kubot’s short volleys in the second set. Though both players came under pressure on serve mid-set, Janowicz made his move in the seventh game. 

With Kubot serving at 15/40, Janowicz raced up the court for a forehand winner – one of his 19 winners in the set, which lasted 40 minutes. 

Janowicz struck three straight groundstroke winners at 4-4 in the third set to hold three break point opportunities. Kubot kept fighting and recovered from 0/40 to deuce, but soon ran out of luck.

The enormity of victory almost proved too much for Janowicz, after he hit 58 winners past Kubot in the two-hour and seven-minute encounter. “Lukasz played [an] incredible match [today], and it was really one of the toughest matches of my life,” said Janowicz.

Janowicz is guaranteed to break in to the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. He will follow in the footsteps of Wojtek Fibak. Kubot, 31, will rise into the Top 70. 

"I think he has potential to be [a] Top 5 player in the world," said Kubot. "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."

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