Janowicz Ousts Dimitrov In Stuttgart
Berydch advances on Thursday
Jerzy Janowicz picked up his biggest win in more than two years on Thursday at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, using his powerful serve to oust second seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(4), 6-3 and reach the quarter-finals.
The Polish player reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2013 and has a big-hitting game that’s perfectly suited to grass. His most recent ATP World Tour quarter-final also came on this surface at Halle in 2015. Janowicz picked up his first win over a player inside the Top 15 of the Emirates ATP Rankings since March 2015, when he defeated Roberto Bautista Agut at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
Janowicz, currently ranked No. 155, returned to the tour last July after sitting out for six months due to a knee injury. He’s played extensively on the ATP Challenger Tour since then and won two titles, but has also shown he can compete against the world’s best players. He took a set off Novak Djokovic last year at the US Open, pushed Marin Cilic to five sets in January at the Australian Open, and narrowly lost to Dimitrov in a deciding set the following month in Sofia. He is now even in his FedEx ATP Head2Head with Dimitrov at 2-2.
Meanwhile, Dimitrov is left to ponder how to replicate his form from the beginning of the season. After an outstanding start to 2017 that saw him go 16-2 and rack up titles in Brisbane and Sofia, he has gone 5-8 since March.
Neither player faced a break point in the opening set, but Janowicz raced out to an early lead in the tie-break and made good on his first set point. He grabbed the lone break of the second set at 4-3 and comfortably served out the match to prevail in 78 minutes.
Next up for Janowicz is Benoit Paire, who cruised past qualifier and local favourite Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-4. The Frenchman looks to reach his fourth ATP World Tour semi-final of 2017 (Chennai, Montpellier, Marrakesh).
Third seed Tomas Berdych raced through the final three games of his 7-6(4), 6-2 win over Bernard Tomic, improving his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the Aussie to 5-0. Three of those victories have come on grass.
“He was a tough opponent. We always have good battles, so I was expecting a tough one today,” said Berdych. “I played quite well and took my chances, then had things under control in the second set. It was a good test and I’m glad to get through.”
Awaiting him in the quarter-finals in Feliciano Lopez, who survived a mid-match surge from Jeremy Chardy to advance 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The Spaniard is a two-time semi-finalist in Stuttgart (2003, 2007) when the event was held on clay. Berdych and Lopez are even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 6-6, but haven’t faced off in three years.