Category Archives: Ernests Gulbis

Gulbis Trumps Del Potro

Ernests Gulbis’ 6-2, 6-4 quarterfinal victory over Juan Martin del Potro in LA just goes to show how brilliant the Latvian can be when he is on a hot streak. He can be so brilliant it’s look away but he can also be so disappointing when he regularly under performs that its hard to watch.

Today the Latvian was brilliant, taking the match from the 2008 champ and 2009 US Open men’s singles champion. He took the lead, and the chances, early in the match and apart from a brief respite for the Argentine in the early stages of the second set Ernests had it covered. Read more »

Del Potro To Face Gulbis In LA Quarterfinals

Juan Martin del Potro has made a smooth transition onto the American hard courts leading up to the US Open.  Delpo beat American James Blake at the Farmers Classic 6-4, 7-6 in a tournament that has seen some good form from struggling players.

Blake has struggled to overcome chronic patella tendinitis despite PRP injections (note: Blake has refused to take anti inflammatories) and as a result he has been unable to regularly perform well and challenge the top players.

The huge comeback efforts of Blake are hugely contrasted to those of Ernests Gulbis who will be Juan Martin’s next opponent.

Gulbis has huge talent and huge potential but has never had the consistency or drive to really commit to performing on a regular basis. Coming into LA Gulbis had won only nine matches all season.

 

 

 

For more about PRP injections click here.

Men’s Wimbledon Draw Analysis

To break the lengthy draw analysis in two parts I have separated the explanation about what’s at stake for the big boys Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and what to look for in the early rounds into another post (click here).

If we look at the draw as a whole it’s hard to look beyond Federer as champion. Read more »

Nadal Faces Terrible Draw For Histroy Making Win

Rafa Nadal, who is still struggling to get over his fever, has been drawn against some difficult players for the Australian Open in his bid to claim all Grand Slam titles simultaneously.

Nadal will face world number 96 Brazilian Marcos Daniel before potentially facing Feliciano Lopez or Alejandro Falla (who almost knocked out Roger Federer in the first round of Wimbledon) in the third round. Read more »

>Roddick Trumps Gulbis In Paris

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Andy Roddick has successfully booked a place in the quarterfinals in Paris after defeating Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 7-6.

Roddick got off to a flying start, breaking Gulbis in his opening service game as the Latvian made numerous careless errors. Roddick then stumbled on his own serve before a perfect lob got him back into the game, allowing him to take a 3-0 lead. At 4-2 Roddick pushed a put-away volley into the net giving Gulbis a break back point, however and wayward forehand from Gulbis gave Roddick a 5-2 lead. It wasn’t long before Roddick took the first set 6-3.

Gulbis produced some flashes of colourful brilliance, flattening balls out and hitting with incredible pace to surprise Roddick with the change up, but ultimately Roddick wanted it more and Gulbis looked to lack inspiration. Both players made some spectacular net play, with Andy charging down numerous drop shots and placing them with precision depth cross court.

With the advantage of serving first Gulbis managed to force Roddick to continually play catch up as his service percentages improve. However, Roddick was up to the challenge forcing a tiebreak.

A poorly timed double fault, and numerous bad challenges gave Roddick an early lead in the tiebreak before he lost his first match point after a long teasing rally. Andy then stepped up and recovered from being set point down, once again saved by his big serving, showing no fear on the big points. Roddick again chased down another drop shot from Gulbis, only just managing to get it for a 9-8 lead, Gulbis receiving a code violation for launching another ball into the crowd in frustration.

Before long a fist pumping Roddick was through to the quarter finals and another step closer to the year end finals in London.

>Roddick Pummels Nieminen

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Andy Roddick has has a great start in the final Masters 1000 in Paris, thumping Jarrko Nieminen 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.

Roddick got off to an incredible start, with Nieminen only able to return five of Roddick serves in the first set. In fact, Roddick served so well that he didn’t face a break point, didn’t serve any double faults and produced 9 aces. Andy also broke his opponent in his opening game, quickly finding his way to a 3-0 lead.

Roddick continued to dominate throughout the second set. Nieminen was slightly more competitive in the second set, being aided by his improved first serve percentage.

Roddick was happy with his dominating performance. “Every match I win is significant at this point. It puts more pressure on the guys behind me. I have a pretty good shot no matter how I do here this week. But I think the last thing you want to do is be in that position where you’re at home cheering against somebody hoping that something bad happens to them. You’d like to win it, do it on your own terms, and that’s something that I’d certainly like to do.”

Roddick will now play Ernest Gulbis in a third round match that has the potential to be great.

Player Profile: Ernests Gulbis

Full Name: Ernests Gulbis

DOB: 30.08.1988

Height: 190cm

Weight: 77kg

Turned Pro: 2004

Highest Rank: 27 (May 2010)

Current Rank: 77

Plays: Right handed, double handed backhand

Career Prize Money: $2,472,708 USD Read more »

>Safina And Martinez Sanchez Withdraw From Wimbledon

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One of the ticking time bombs I mentioned in a post the other day has exploded. Dinara Safina, who recently said another back injury could end her career, has withdrawn from Wimbledon with a back injury. Safina has struggled to re-find her form, her mind and any form of game since returning to the tour after 3 months off with serious back injury.

Dinara had struggled with her back late last season, but when she withdrew in floods of tears from the Australian Open it became apparent the issue was more serious. She was diagnosed with two stress fractures in her lower back as well as a ruptured muscle.

Realistically more than 3 months off was needed when you consider that she had only just started hitting balls two weeks before she returned. Stress fractures are tricky things. You have to return to activity slowly or that weak point breaks again. Safina will need to be careful for sometime if she wants to have a long career. Even brother Marat thought she should spend more time off, but the extremely competitive Safina could not wait to get back on court.

Safina will be replaced by Melanie Oudin.

Surprise winner of Rome, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who had a neck injury that forced her to serve underarm at Roland Garros has also withdrawn from Wimbledon citing a knee injury.

 The rumour mill would also have us believe that another withdrawal is soon to be announced… that of Ernests Gulbis. His withdrawal would certainly ease Nadal’s work load in the difficult quarter to which he was shafted.

Update: Gulbis confirmed to have withdrawn from Wimbledon.

>Wimbledon Draw Revealed: Easy Draw For Federer

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When Wimbledon jumbled up the seeding for this years Wimbledon they said it ultimately would make no difference to Federer and Nadal. They were wrong. It will make a huge difference. Federer has been, once again, blessed by the draw Gods and has received very few big seeds who have any real chance of blocking his path to the quarterfinals. If Federer can’t find his way to the semis with this draw then he has more issues than we all though.

Federer’s Quarter
Top seed, and world number 2, Roger Federer will play Alejandro Falla who he has defeated in straight sets the four times they played, most recently thumping him 6-1, 6-2 in Halle. Other names in Federers quarter include Tommy Robredo, Feliciano Lopez, Viktor Troicki, Jurgen Melzer, Tomas Berdych, Stanislas Wawrinka and Nikolay Davydenko. Nikolay Davydenko, recently returning to the tour after recovering from a broken wrist, will face the big serving Kevin Anderson in his first round match. Stan Wawrinka will have his work cut out for him if he’s to get past Denis Istomin. Istomin has been showing good form and has provided a solid challenge to Nadal at Queens recently.

Winner: Federer. No challenge.

Djokovic’s Quarter

Novak has drawn Olivier Rochus in the first round and will meet the winner of Taylor Dent and Juan Ignacio Chela in the second round. The bad news for the Serbian number 1 is that Albert Montanes, Gael Monfils, and more significantly Marin Cilic and Lleyton Hewitt lay lurking in the middle of his quarter. Hewitt is likely to provide a stern challenge to the players in the quarter but will be a little bit nervous to see Andy Roddick at the bottom of the quarter. Roddick ended Hewitt’s run last year before being defeated by Federer in the finals. Mardy Fish will face qualifier Bernard Tomic in the first round while Ivan Ljubicic and Philipp Kohlscrieber should be successful in their first round encounters.

Winner: Andy Roddick 
One to watch: Lleyton Hewitt

Murray’s Quarter
Fernando Verdasco sits up the top of the quarter, prepared to face Fabio Fognini in the first round. Fabs forced Gael Monfils to five sets in their epic Roland Garros R64 match this year before walking away with the match when play was resumed. If the Spaniard survives on grass, he could be met by Nico Almagro in the third round although this is unlikely given that Almagro was carried off court in a stretcher with a hip injury just a few days ago. The recently injured but apparently healed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon lurk in the bottom half of the quarter but, Simon in particular, are likely to be no challenge for Murray IF he can find the form that has abandoned him since the Australian Open.

Winner: Murray. But it’s a strange quarter and anything could happen.

Nadal’s Quarter

The current world number one, who has been shafted into the number two seeding, has drawn the short straw compared to Federer. At the top of this quarter sits Robin Soderling who will face Robby Ginepri in the first round, however, ultimately Soderling should have a relatively easy path into the third and fourth rounds. Marcos Baghdatis and David Ferrer sit in the middle of the quarter along with Mikhail Youzhny and Ernests Gulbis. With his huge shots and deadly serve Ernest Gulbis could certainly do some damage in this quarter and Nadal will need to elevate his grass court game to get past the Latvian if he has recovered from his hamstring injury. Nadal will face Kei Nishikori in the first round and then the winner of James Balke and Robin Haase. Nadal will be watching Gulbis’ progress as a potential 3rd round opponent.

The good news for Nadal is that any points gained at Wimbledon will be added to his total after he was unable to attempt a title defense last year. Hopefully his hamstring has healed and his will is enough to get him across the line.

Winner: Nadal.
Ones to watch: Soderling and Gulbis

Semi Finals
Roger Federer V Andy Roddick

Andy Murray V Rafael Nadal

Finals
Roger Federer V Rafael Nadal

Looking at the draw it looks like the punters will once again get a remake of one of the greatest matches ever seen at Wimbledon. I’m backing Nadal in 5 sets because I think his shear desire will be a force to be reckoned with but I get a sneaky feeling that Federer will be walking away with a 7th crown. 

>Player Of The Month: Fernando Verdasco

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Rafael Nadal’s accomplishments over the last few weeks go without saying but it is, to a certain extent, expected that he will dominate the clay court season.

Aside from Rafa there are a few players who have stood out this month (May), such as Ernests Gulbis, who’s flashy play made Federer go home with his tail between his legs. Sam Stosur has been in fine form as she moved inside the top ten and won a title in Charlestown.

Fernando Verdasco has played an incredible clay court season and deserved to be player of the month. Verdasco was a winner at Barcelona, finalist at Nice and Monte Carlo and a semi-finalist in Rome. The Spanish number two blasted winners and serves all over the clay courts of Europe and managed to star in FHM and head across the water to New York for the MET Gala.

When he’s had his clothes on Fernando has played so well, and so frequently that he was only really beaten by Nadal or fatigue, recently looking gaunt at Roland Garros. Sure, he may have made a mistake in accepting a a wild card to Nice when he should have been resting ahead of Roland Garros, but he has played brilliantly on clay and produced some awe inspiring shots and is more than worthy of the tile of Player of the Month.