“I knew it would be difficult as Jerzy Janowicz is a player with a great serve and plays quite aggressively,” said the premier Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić after defeating the Polish tennis player 4-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, coming back from 0-2 in sets
It was a far harder start than expected for Čilić at the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. After two sets he was dancing on the edge of defeat, but in the rest of the match he found his rhythm and turned the score around, achieving victory after three hours and four minutes of play, Jutarnji List reported on January 16, 2017.
“Janowicz can be quite dangerous, especially in fast conditions as they are in Melbourne. That may have given me a bit of insecurity in the beginning. I was too careful, hesitated and did not serve well,” said Čilić.
Čilić began with 2-1 and an early break, but then allowed his opponent to line up three games to lead 4-2 and easily finish the set. In the second set both held their service until 4-4. The Pole then made a break, serving for the second set and a huge advantage. Luckily, Čilić woke up then and won the next three sets. In the rest of the match the 26-year-old Pole won only seven games and missed out on an upset at the tournament opening.
“I felt that I wasn’t completely there with emotions and motivation. Luckily I won the first break in the beginning of the third set and then played much better and more aggressively. Later on I was much stronger and aggressive, but it wasn’t easy to come back after 0-2,” admitted the best Croatian player who turned around 02- in sets for the fifth time in his career, the second time against Janowicz.
In the Davis Cup duel in 2014, the Polish player led 2-0 in Warsaw, with Čilić celebrating in the end with 3-2. It was the key, third point for Croatia who won with 3-1. Čilić and Janowicz played also in 2012 in Paris, with the Pole victorious 2-0 in sets. Čilić made 26 aces and 67 winners. He also had eight double errors and 29 unforced errors.
In the next round he will meet British player Daniel Evans who was better in the first round than Argentinean Facundo Bagnis 7-6 (8), 6-3, 6-1.
“I have never played Evans. He’s had a solid last season, is talented and can be dangerous. However, I want to enter the match like I ended it today, then it will be easier,” said the seventh player of the world.