May 17, 2013 by Parveer Mann
This week, I got the chance to watch the splendid 1953 classic Roman Holiday on the big screen at a local multiplex. The film stars Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn (she would go on to win a Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Princess Ann) as two people who despite their positions in life make the most out of their time together in Rome.
So, while watching the International BNL d’Italia this week in the Eternal City, I could not help but gravitate to another story of an unlikely person who is having a magical time in Rome: Jerzy Janowicz.
Reminiscent of Paris
At 22, he can be easily grouped into that select crop of young players on the ATP tour that have the necessary tools to be title challengers. The likes of Raonic, Nishikori, Dimitrov and Tomic have been at the top of many conversations among pundits regarding what young player will take the next step to elite status. However, many might not know that of that group, Janowicz arguably has the best result on tour thus far.
His run to the final of the 2012 Paris Masters was both unexpected and eye-opening to all watching. It was the first time a qualifier had reached the final of an ATP Masters event since Radek Stepanek in 2004. In the process, Jerzy used his erratic but thrilling style to beat top 15 players, Marin Cilic, Andy Murray and Janko Tipsarevic before falling to David Ferrer in the finals.
This week, he has already dispatched Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet (top 10 players) in impressive fashion on the clay. Tonight, his much anticipated quarters match-up with Roger Federer could be another breakthrough opportunity for the young man poised to enter the top 20.
I believe despite the more consistent results and titles by Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori, you might not be totally wrong to suggest that Jerzy Janowicz’ results in Paris and now Rome make him the more immediate threat to the top tier of the ATP in an upcoming Grand Slam.
However it ends this week, Jerzy has really given us the tennis equivalent of a lovely trip that both Hepburn and Peck would have fondly enjoyed.