With every serve, Jerzy Janowicz felt as if someone was stabbing him in the right side with a knife.
The Wimbledon semifinalist even tried one underhand in the first round of the U.S. Open on Tuesday. Qualifier Maximo Gonzalez had just hit a couple of winners off what Janowicz thought was best described as a ''push,'' not a serve.
Hobbled by a lower back injury, the 14th-seeded Janowicz lost in straight sets to an opponent whose last victory in the main draw of an ATP Tour event came in April 2011.
Gonzalez, ranked 247th, won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
The last time he played a Grand Slam tournament, Janowicz made history for himself and Polish tennis. He thought he was in great shape heading into the U.S. Open. That changed Saturday, during a workout in the gym with his fitness coach. Janowicz tried an exercise he'd done many times before, but on this day something went wrong.
He could barely walk. He couldn't sit or find a comfortable position to sleep. After a pa...