Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic serves to Jerzy Janowicz of Poland during the men's finals match of the Winston-Salem Open on August 23, 2014
Winston-Salem (United States) (AFP) - Czech seventh seed Lukas Rosol saved two match points Saturday in rallying to defeat Poland's Jerzy Janowicz 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 in the ATP Winston-Salem tournament final.
Rosol, whose only prior ATP title came last year at Bucharest, took the top prize of $80,280 (60,623 euros) and strong momentum heading into the US Open, the year's final Grand Slam event that starts Monday in New York.
Down triple break point in the 11th game of the second set, Rosol battled back to hold for a 6-5 edge, denying Janowicz on all his of his break chances in the set.
In the tie-breaker, Rosol won six of the last eight points to force a third set.
Rosol denied Janowicz on a pair of match points in the 10th game of the final set, the first with an overhead smash and the next with a backhand volley winner, and held to equalize at 5-5.
Rosol then broke for a 6-5 edge and captured the crown with his 12th ace on his first match-point opportunity.
"It was a very tough match for me," Rosol said.
Janowicz, who lost his only prior ATP final two years ago in Paris to David Ferrer, missed a chance to become the first Polish winner of an ATP singles crown since Wojtek Fibak in 1982 at Chicago.
Janowicz, ranked 19 spots below Rosol at 52nd, reached his first Grand Slam semi-final last year at Wimbledon and last week ousted eighth-ranked Grigor Dimitrov in the second round at the Cincinnati Masters.
Rosol, six years older than his rival at 29, lost to Dimitrov in this year's Bucharest final and also settled for a runner-up finish last month at Stuttgart.
A run into five quarter-finals since Wimbledon will boost Rosol to a career-best 27th in the world rankings on Monday.
Janowicz, who won his only prior meeting with Rosol last year at Marseille, had lost his opening match in 10 events this year and until this week had not won back-to-back matches in 2014.
"The whole week is really amazing for me," Janowicz said. "I'm happy I found my good tennis this week. I'm looking forward to next year."