MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz could not afford to come to the Australian Open last year but on Wednesday he made a real mark on the grand slam with a spectacular tantrum followed by a brilliant comeback from two sets down.
The 24th seed exploded with rage over a line call in the tiebreak at the end of the 79-minute first set against Somdev Devvarman, roaring his displeasure, hitting the umpire’s chair with his racket and throwing his water bottle across court.
At one stage, the 22-year-old collapsed to his knees in frustration with his forehead touching the playing surface on court eight.
“I was really worried about his voice,” said Devvarman. “He was really yelling at the top of his lungs and I said, ‘Dude, calm down’.”
Devvarman took the tiebreak 12-10 to win the set and, at the changeover, Janowicz again argued his case with Croatian umpire Marija Cicak before making the point more forcefully with his racket.
Janowicz regained his composure and was back on his knees in celebration 161 minutes later after a 6-7 3-6 6-1 6-0 7-5 victory that secured him a third round tie against Spanish 10th seed Nicolas Almagro.
“The umpires, they’re making so many mistakes ... this was the moment when I went nuts, otherwise the rest of the match I was pretty calm,” said Janowicz, who reached the final of the Paris Masters last November.
“Sometimes it happens like this. You can’t control your emotions all the time. This was a really big point for me. We played this set for more than an hour and 10 minutes, so this was a really important point for me.”
India’s sole remaining representative in the single’s draws, Devvarman raced away with the second set while the Pole was still regaining his composure.
Despite tallying 88 unforced errors over the match, Janowicz struck back by ramping up his serve and unleashing his forehand to level up the match at two sets all.
The hour-long deciding set was closer, with the players exchanging service breaks before the Pole secured the victory with another blistering forehand return for his 91st winner of the match.
“Every win is really nice,” he said. “But if you are losing two-love and you come back, that gives you a little bit more confidence.”
Janowicz’s run to the final in Paris and finding a sponsor helped ease his parlous financial state but he still hoped he would avoid a fine for his outburst.
“I got a warning only because I was shouting,” he said. “I didn’t say anything bad, so I hope I will not have to pay.”
Devvarman, who reached a career-high 62nd in the world in July 2011, has slipped to 551 after missing most of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury.
He dismissed the idea that Janowicz might have staged his tantrum to try and put him off and suggested the Pole would cause problems for other players this year.
”He played incredibly well and started going for his shots and they fell in,“ he said. ”I let it go but he also took it away from me.
“He’s got so many weapons but what’s really dangerous about him is you literally don’t know what he’s going to do next.”
Additional reporting Tim Wimborne, editing by Patrick Johnston/Peter Rutherford/Amlan Chakraborty