Rennes Challenger will take place in the fourth week of January, gathering some seven top-200 players who have decided to make an early trip back to Europe after the Australian Open qualifying round. Former world no. 14 Jerzy Janowicz has received a wild card, returning to the court for the first time since Bratislava Challenger in November 2017.
The three-time ATP finalist had to overcome numerous knee injuries in the last couple of years, leaving the top-100 in April 2016 and never finding the rhythm again despite a solid effort in 2017. Jerzy competed at 25 events that season and stood on the verge of the top-100 return following six ATP wins and two Challenger finals, lifting the trophy in Bergamo in February for his last title so far.
Competing at Bratislava Challenger in November, the Pole was forced to retire against Mikhail Kukushkin and to underwent another knee surgery that plagued his game even more. Janowicz has been on a comeback trail since then, doing everything he could to bring the body to the desired level and compete on the Tour again.
That couldn't happen in 2018 as he had to delay the return a couple of times, including the home Challenger in Sopot in August. This June, Jerzy shared the good news with his fans as he was able to practice without any problems for the first time in three years, doing everything right on both the court and at the gym.
Again, he had to refuse the wild card in Sopot, targeting the beginning of 2020 for that fresh start and choosing Rennes for the first stop on the comeback trail. Jerzy spent the offseason in Tenerife with his coach Gunter Bresnik, working hard on his game and preparing the long-awaited return in 20 days.
The Pole played in the first ATP final on Masters 1000 debut in Paris 2012, losing to David Ferrer and finishing runner-up in Winston-Salem 2014 and Montpellier 2015 as well. His last ATP tournament came in Stockholm in October 2017, qualifying for the main draw and losing a tight second-round encounter to world no. 8 Grigor Dimitrov.