Jerzy Janowicz got literally inches away from lifting his debut ATP trophy, but he missed several opportunities to finish off seventh seed Lukas Rosol in the Winston-Salem 2014 final this Saturday – the 29-year-old Czech, ranked 33rd, thus defended a couple of match points to claim his second career title after conquering another World Tour 250 event in Bucharest in April last year.
The Polish player was the first to suffer a loss of serve in the opener, yet he responded immediately by grabbing two breaks in a row to move 5-2 up. The Lodz native held his nerves when serving for the set to save a break back point and go one nil ahead. Rosol struggled in the early stages of the set two where he had to escape three break point threats to stay on level terms. He was in serious trouble again when the 23-year-old Pole picked up a triple break point at 5-5, but to no avail. His rival weathered the storm to take the game to deuce before putting away an ace and a forehand winner for a vital hold. The Czech then capitalized on the momentum shift to prevail in the subsequent tie-break with a relative ease.
The servers were very confident in the decider until the tenth game when Rosol committed a mistake at the net to gift the opponent the championship point number one. He bailed himself out once more, though, and finally sprung back to life after the World no. 52 Janowicz also squandered the second opportunity to wrap up the proceedings by sending a lob behind the baseline. In the end, the revived Czech clinched a crucial break in the follow-up game before creating a pair of match points on his own – he could start celebrating seconds later as he smashed his thirteenth ace of the day (Janowicz scored 11) to complete an inspired comeback and win 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5.