Wimbledon 2013: Jerzy Janowicz's huge serve is big threat for Andy Murray in semi-final

The British number one takes on the Pole on Friday

Wimbledon

Wimbledon has a new hero, all 6ft 8in of him. And the love spreads way beyond Warsaw. Jerzy Janowicz is a giant in touch with his feminine side. The climax of this all-Polska quarter-final in which he became the first Polish male to progress to a Grand Slam semi-final – against Andy Murray – ended in half-naked hugs and tears over the net with vanquished countrymen Lukasz Kubot.

In the immediacy of his 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 win he could barely manage a sentence such was the size of the lump in his throat. "I'm just really happy. I did not expect to go so far. I have not many words," Janowicz said. "I doesn't matter if I'm the first [Pole]. This is my first semi-final."

The first nine games took only 24 minutes. No rally in that sequence lasted longer than seven strokes. Janowicz began the 10th game with his eighth ace. His fastest serve was sent down at twice the national speed limit, or, for those for whom arithmetic is not a strong suit, 140mph.

Kubot finally surrendered service in the 11th game to invite Janowicz to serve for the opening set. Thanks very much, he said, and duly delivered. The break in the second set came in the pivotal seventh game. At the change of ends that followed Janowicz was visited by the trainer, who developed the taping of his right elbow into the shape of a Maori tattoo.

Not that his racket arm needed the assistance of some ancient South Sea spirit. The aces continued to rain down, the total reaching 19 as he served out the set with another, and 30 by the end. Kubot's defensive shield was full of holes as he pondered what he might do to stem the barrage. There was nothing he could do, of course. Janowicz is a force of nature new to this setting just a year ago, but with a talent deep enough to lay down serious roots in SW19.

Kubot did not play badly. He simply did not have enough game to make a fight of it, particularly when receiving. Getting a serve back merely triggered a groundstroke of similarly wicked velocity. As a spectacle the Janowicz blueprint might lack variety but it is awesome nonetheless in its rasping brutality. "My best result ever," he said after recovering a degree of composure. "One of the toughest matches of my life."

Kubot said this story might have an even happier ending for his compatriot. "He has the potential to be a top-five player. He is in the semi-finals. Let's see what is going to happen."

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence