In a field that begin with many of the biggest names in tennis including the best of France, the last two men standing at the Tennis Masters Paris are David Ferrer and qualifier Jerzy Janowicz.
The 21-year-old Janowicz has been the story of the final event of the ATP’s regular season. During this breakout week, Janowicz has seen off Philipp Kohlschreiber, Marin Cilic, Andy Murray, Janko Tipsarevic and today he added Gilles Simon to his list of victims. While Murray, who held a match point, and Tipsarevic, who retired in the third, faded in lackluster late-match efforts, Simon stood toe-to-toe with the 6-foot-8 Janowicz but he couldn’t breakthrough losing 6-4, 7-5.
“There was no surprise about this. I played a player who’s totally confident right now,” said Simon. “He is playing and having fun while he’s playing. He’s hitting as hard as he can each time.
“This is what I saw from his game on the previous matches, and I was not surprised with how he played against me today. He is very difficult to return. Normally I’m supposed to be one of the best returners on the tour, and I was not able to do that today.”
The 69th-ranked Janowicz admitted to some nerves today en route to his first career ATP final.
“When I had match point today, I felt a little bit strange. I had chicken skin,” said Janowicz. “I was a little bit nervous during this match point, but this was really an unbelievable feeling. I just said to myself before this match point to not change anything, just to play the same game as I played before. I did this. I finished the match with a dropshot.”
And Janowicz loves to hit dropshots in addition to possessing a cracking serve.
Ferrer, who was a 7-5, 6-3 victor over Michael Llorda, is one of the best returners in the sport and Spaniard is on the cusp of his biggest career title.
“I feel good. I am very happy because I am in the final,” Ferrer said. “Tomorrow, it’s going to be a very difficult match because my opponent, he’s playing very, very good. But I will try to do my best for to beat him.
“Of course I have pressure, but every match I have pressure. We know that. For me, tomorrow is one match again. I will try to be focused every point and to do my job to win.”
At 30, Ferrer is enjoying arguably his best season with six titles and a solid Top 5 rank.
“Of course this year was the best of my career,” said Ferrer.”“I never won six titles in one year. If I win tomorrow, it’s going to be seven. I’m very happy for that. I won a lot of matches.”
Ferrer has three times finished runner-up at a Masters 1000 while Janowicz, who had never beaten a Top 40 player before this week, is trying to become just the second first time ATP winner this year after Martin Klizan. And win or lose, Janowicz’s ranking will climb into the Top 30 on Monday.
“Honestly saying, I’m 69th ranked guy in the world and suddenly I am in the final,” Janowicz added. “For me this is still like I cannot believe this actually. How is this possible? I came here just to play qualifications, and suddenly after few days I’m not final. I don’t know how did I this, but tomorrow is final waiting for me. Wow.”
Wow is right.
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