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Janowicz Holds Off Hewitt Fightback; Lopez Sets Isner Clash

Wimbledon, Great Britain

Janowicz© Getty ImagesJerzy Janowicz held off Lleyton Hewitt in five sets.

World No. 25 Jerzy Janowicz prevailed in a five-set battle with 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt on Friday at the All England Club. The Pole set a third-round clash with Tommy Robredo at The Championships as he fended off a Hewitt comeback to win 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3.

Hewitt saved two match points at 4-6 in the third set tie-break, the first one courtesy of a Janowicz double fault, as he staged a comeback to force a fifth set. Janowicz found his range from the baseline again in the fifth set though and surged into a 5-1 lead. Hewitt recovered one of the breaks, but at the second time of asking Janowicz served out to love for victory in four hours and 47 minutes. The match had been carried over from Thursday, when play was suspended at 4-4 in the second set due to rain.

"It's a really good win for me," said Janowicz. "I think Hewitt is a really dangerous player. Doesn't matter how old is he and doesn't matter his ranking, he's an extremely good player, especially on grass. I was a little bit unlucky in the third set tie-break. I took a small risk on the second serve when I had the first match point. I missed like by four centimeters, and the next match point he played winner down the line backhand exactly middle of the line. But luckily I played an unbelievable fifth set, and I'm really happy."

The 33-year-old Hewitt was contesting his 42nd five-set match, which is the most in the Open Era, surpassing Andre Agassi’s mark of 41. The Australian won the second of his two Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon in 2002 (d. Nalbandian). 

"Obviously he takes pretty big cuts at the ball," said Hewitt. "Even though I felt like I was starting to turn the match around throughout the fourth set, you're only sort of a few points away from him opening it again. That's what happened. He saved a couple of big break points first game of the fifth, then he sort of took it upon himself to take the match out of my hands."

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The 23-year-old Janowicz reached his first major semi-final at Wimbledon last year, losing to Andy Murray. ‘The Pole-veriser’ is searching for a return to form after losing six successive opening-round matches before stopping the rot at Roland Garros, where he reached the third round. He goes on to face Tommy Robredo.

Flashback: Janowicz 'The Pole-veriser' (July 2013)

World No. 26 Feliciano Lopez set a third-round clash with John Isner after beating Ante Pavic 6-4, 7-6(4), 7-5. 

Lopez trails Isner 1-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, though he did win their one previous Grand Slam contest in five sets at the 2012 Australian Open. The Spanish left-hander is a three-time quarter-finalist at the All England Club, most recently in 2011 (l. to Murray).

"I play against John now, which is going to be very close match," said Lopez. "He's serving like an animal, as you saw against [Jarkko] Nieminen. It's going to be a very close match again. I have to play my best if I want to beat John."

Lopez came into Wimbledon in strong form and has won 11 of his past 12 matches. He reached the final at the Aegon Championships, holding a match point in defeat to Grigor Dimitrov, and backed it up by retaining his title at the Aegon International in Eastbourne with victory over Richard Gasquet

The 19th seeded added to his winning run against Pavic by hitting 33 winners, to 10 unforced errors, and converting two of his eight break points. He claimed victory in six minutes shy of two hours.

"The match was very close," said Lopez. "I think he was really confident. He had a great win against [Alejandro] Falla in the first round. It was tough for me. It was tough for me to return his serve. He was serving very good. The match was very close. Finally I found a way somehow to make the break in the third again and I won, so I have to be happy."

Santiago Giraldo closed out a 4-6, 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 second-round victory over No. 30 seed Marcel Granollers. The match was suspended after three games of the fifth set on Thursday evening due to rain. Giraldo is through to the third round for the first time and earned a clash with seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer. The pair played once before, three years ago at the US Open, with Federer winning in straight sets.

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