LONDON — Jerzy Janowicz had just served up an ace to take a 4-1 lead in the third set against Andy Murray.
Tied at one set apiece in the Wimbledon semifinals, the big-serving Pole looked pretty much in control, annoying the second-seeded Briton with a combination of powerful ground strokes, slices and drop shots.
But all of a sudden, it all went wrong.
The 22-year-old Janowicz, who was bidding to become the youngest man to reach the final at the All England Club since Rafael Nadal five years ago, lost five consecutive games and, soon after, the match, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
"Such a shame I didn't play my best tennis today," said Janowicz, the first man from Poland to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. "I was struggling a little bit with my serve. Everything basically collapsed after this one point when we were 30-all, third set, (4-2) for me."
On that point, Murray fired a forehand that hit the tape, crept over the net and bounced on Janowicz's side for a winner.
"He was lucky on this point," said Janowicz, seeded 24th. "That's it."
Janowicz then missed a drop shot and was punished by a crosscourt forehand winner as Murray broke back before seizing the momentum. Even the 30-minute interruption of play at the end of the third set to shut the Centre Court roof because of fading light could not help him recover.
Murray, who was at first furious at the decision to close the roof, said he was surprised by Janowicz's attitude during the break, spotting him in a conversation on his phone in the locker room.
"He seemed very, very relaxed for the semifinals of Wimbledon. That's the sort of player he is," Murray said.
Janowicz, however, didn't want to talk about it.
"This is my private thing," he said curtly.
At 22, Janowicz looks like he has a brilliant future ahead of him.
"He's obviously young. He has a huge game. He moves very well for his size. He's very athletic. I think his physique is kind of the future of tennis, the way guys are getting bigger and moving better, as well," Murray said. "He's very unpredictable. He has a lot of power, but he also has good feel. He has a lot of drop shots. He very rarely misses them."
He also had "fun." At least that's what he said when asked to sum up his Wimbledon experience in one word.
No elaboration on that, though.
"You just asked me about one word," Janowicz said with a smile.
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