WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem Open has had a couple of spectacular finals in its short life as a professional tennis tournament, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
Add Lukas Rosol vs. Jerzy Janowicz to the list.
Rosol, the No. 7 seed, fought off two match points and stormed past the unseeded Janowicz 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in a match that lasted two hours and 11 minutes in sultry conditions at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex Saturday.
The three-set thriller brought back memories of the 2011 and 2012 finals, with John Isner beating Julien Benneteau in ’11 and Tomas Berdych in ’12, after losing the first set in both matches.
Rosol took home $80,280 for the victory, while Janowicz received $45,705.
Janowicz, a 23-year-old from Poland, dominated the entire first set and most of the second. He seemed poised to wrap up the match in straight sets when he had three break points against Rosol late in the second set. He needed to win one more point against Rosol’s serve to take a 6-5 lead and he would then be serving for the match. But Rosol won the next five points and Janowicz held serve to force a tiebreaker.
Janowicz had another chance to win the match late in the third set but Rosol fought off two match points on forehand errors by Janowicz to tie the set at 5. Rosol then broke serve for a 6-5 lead and held his own service to wrap up the second ATP Tournament title of his career. Rosol aced Janowicz on match point.
As Rosol, a 29-year-old from the Czech Republic, realized he had won the match, he fell to the Center Court surface in disbelief. But was it in celebration or from fatigue? Maybe a little of both.
“I am tired but pretty happy with the result,” said Rosol, whose only other ATP Tournament title came in Bucharest, Romania, in 2013. “Somehow I found the power.”
What about that ace at match point? It wasn’t something he was trying for.
“I just wanted to put the serve in play,” he said. “I had to play solid tennis at that moment.”
A sullen Janowicz realized he had let a golden opportunity to win his first ATP Tournament get away from him.
“It happens,” he said. “He served well when he was down 0-40 (late in the second set).
“I didn’t do anything stupid. He just played well there.”
This was the second ATP Tournament final for Janowicz. He lost to David Ferrer in the 2012 Paris Masters.
“It’s not my first final and I hope it won’t be my last final,” he said. “I think I am playing good tennis. I was a bit unlucky there. I look forward to next week (at the U.S, Open). I am playing well.”
Janowicz said he enjoyed his week in Winston-Salem and hopes to come back in 2015. “People here are really nice and the hospitality is really, really cool, he said. “But right now I am a little tired and need a few days off.”
Rosol also plans to be back in Winston-Salem for future tournaments. “I hope so,” he said. “I would like to if I can remain injury-free.”
The Rosol-Janowicz final was in marked contrast to last year, when Gael Monfils of France and Jurgen Melzer of Austria met for the championship of the Winston-Salem Open. Monfils had to retire early in the second set after less than an hour of tennis with an abdominal strain.
Tournament Bill Oakes admitted he was concerned Friday night when Janowicz took a long medical timeout after tweaking his left foot. Janowicz took some painkillers and was able to win his semifinal match against Sam Querrey in three sets.
“I would be lying if I said it (last year) didn’t go through my mind,” Oakes said. “But I talked with Jerzy (Friday night) after the match and he said he would be good to go (Saturday). So I felt very positive that we didn’t have to worry.”
Columbians win doubles title
The unseeded team of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia defeated the No. 3 seeds, Jamie Murray of Great Britain and John Peers of Australia 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles final of the Winston-Salem Open on Sunday at the Wake Forest Tennis Center.
The win completed a dominating tournament for Sebastian Cabal and Farah, who did not lose a set in any of their four matches.
Sebastian Cabal and Farah split $32,940 and Murray and Peers $17,320.
Murray is the brother of Andy Murray , the 2013 Wimbledon champion.