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All eyes will be on local favourite Andy Murray as he attempts to cap another impressive year with victory in London.

Jerzy Janowicz can make Wimbledon semi-finals, says Barry Cowan

Features Posted 29th June 2013 view comments

I was really looking forward to seeing Grigor Dimitrov face Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round at Wimbledon, but that match won't happen now after the Bulgarian was beaten by Slovenia's Grega Zemlja on Friday.

Dimitrov has got better and better this year - even though he was beaten pretty convincingly by Novak Djokovic in the third round of the French Open - so his five-set defeat was one of the biggest disappointments of day five.

Janowicz: ousted Almagro in round three at SW19

Janowicz: ousted Almagro in round three at SW19

Grigor has got plenty of talent and is more than a match for some of the great players - Ivan Lendl said earlier this year that the best set of tennis he'd seen this season was the one between Andy Murray and Dimitrov in the final of the Brisbane International, which the Brit edged 7-6 - but he hasn't yet done it on the biggest stage.

Jerzy Janowicz has, though; he made the final of the Paris Masters last November, before losing to David Ferrer, and I was extremely impressed by the manner of the Pole's 7-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Nicolas Almagro on Friday.

Janowicz has so much going for him, not just in his game but from a personality point of view as well.

Barry Cowan
Quotes of the week

Janowicz, whose cause I have been campaigning for some time, has so much going for him, not just in his game but from a personality point of view as well.

And with the way the draw has opened up he has a real opportunity to make the semi-finals, where he could meet Murray.

It has been quite a while since a youngster outside the top eight has surged through into the semis or final of a Grand Slam but it could be Janowicz's time - or Ernests Gulbis'.

Gulbis, who plays Fernando Verdasco on Saturday, doesn't lack self-belief - his recent comments about the top four being boring and him being the best player outside the top 32 seeds show that - and there is no guarantee that if he plays Murray in the quarter-finals the Scot will win.

Hard

It's a shame that the two people that beat Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, Serhiy Stakhovsky and Steve Darcis, did not progress beyond the next round; Darcis had to pull out with a shoulder injury, while Stakhovsky lost to Jurgen Melzer.

The latter's defeat proves just how much it takes out of you physically and mentally to beat one of the top four, and explains why the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych and Del Potro find it hard to win a Grand Slam: they generally have to overcome three of Federer, Nadal, Murray and Novak Djokovic in succession.

However, it also shows that in tennis rankings don't lie; Stakhovsky did wonderfully to beat Federer and Michelle Larcher de Brito did excellently to oust Maria Sharapova, but they were eventually downed by higher-placed opponents in Melzer and Karin Knapp respectively.

Rankings didn't lie as Murray knocked out Tommy Robredo on Friday evening in very impressive fashion; everything is working in his game at the moment - he is moving well, winning convincingly and looks mentally strong - but Djokovic, who plays Jeremy Chardy today, is not at his best.

However, Djokovic is a master of playing as well as he needs to and he should get few scares from Chardy, as grass is not the Frenchman's favourite surface; he can serve big and hit huge forehands, but he is very in-and-out and in-and-out players don't tend to beat Novak.

Laura Robson, meanwhile, will meet New Zealand's Marina Erakovic after beating Mariana Duque-Marino on Centre Court on Friday, a result the Brit can be very proud of.

Laura was always going to play worse against Duque-Marino than she did in her first round against Maria Kirilenko, as she tends to play better when she is the underdog, but she handled the pressure well and coped with the wobbly periods.

I think it is good that she is now on Court Two as she will be able to go about her business a bit more quietly and I would expect her ball striking, which is second to none, to get her through.

Barry Cowan is raising money for the charity Have a Heart throughout Wimbledon with his Sky Bet Charity Bets. Find Barry's top daily and outright tips here.

Comments (1)

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Richard May says...

Jerzy can beat anybody he has everything and has beaten murry last year he is very mobile indeed

Posted 22:23 30th June 2013

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