“We not gonna be here for 10 more years.” – Rafael Nadal talking about himself, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
That quote from World No. 1 Rafael Nadal after defeating a young Austrian player Dominic Thiem is perhaps a perfect summation for the opening week at this year’s French Open. While the men’s draw still has its fair share of big names, the women’s draw finds itself absent its top three seeds that all lost before the fourth round – a first-time occurrence at any Grand Slam. Continue reading
Ernests Gulbis (Corleve)
It’s telling, for me at least, that Ernests Gulbis’s racquet bashing during his second round loss to Alejandro Falla at the Farmers Classic, has generated more interest than Andy Murray’s tougher than expected match. Of course, it helps that Gulbis’s press conference afterwards generated some of the best one liners we’ve heard all year.
I was at the match and press conference and although Gulbis should have kept his cool better, I’ve seen worse displays of bad behavior on the court. In any event, here is a transcript from Gulbis’s press conference, in his own words. My favorite part of course is when answered my question about getting a point penalty with a now classic response about how umpires are like policemen. Continue reading
Ernests Gulbis in Press Conference at Farmers Classic.
It was perhaps a little unfair that as Ernests Gulbis walked off of the stadium court after his loss to Alejandro Falla 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(8), the classic 80’s song “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood and the Destroyers played over his exit. It’s not clear if that song was cued up anyway or if it was timed especially for the Latvian whose shaky form after being out of action for two months reached a boiling point when Gulbis was given a point penalty for smashing his racquet. In fact, at a key point in the final set tiebreak. Gulbis tossed his racquet one more time under the eyes of the chair umpire who could have disqualified Gulbis right there. But was Gulbis worried about that? Not at all. Continue reading
Ernests Gulbis at Farmers Classic.
After making a name for himself this spring on the European clay, including a win over Roger Federer, Ernests Gulbis had to put his surging game and popularity on hold after suffering a hamstring injury at the French Open that forced to him retire in his first round match there and then later pull out of this year’s Wimbledon.
But after a lengthy break, Gulbis and his trademark style (both in his game and demeanor), made a winning return in the first round of the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Lukas Lacko. The match saw Gulbis hit plenty of drop shots, earn a ball abuse warning and try multiple attempts to tame his frizzy hairdo. But what else would you expect from the Latvian wunderkind? Continue reading
It’s still a little too soon to start reading the tea leaves for future guidance into Ernests Gulbis’s career after his semifinal run at the Italian Open last week. One thing is for sure, the 21 year old Latvian who has been touted as the “next big thing” is finally, and I do mean finally, living up to that hype.
After several years of showing flashes of brilliance and flashes of awful, mixed in with a bad judgment call last year in Stockholm involving certain “ladies”, Gulbis, with his powerful strokes and his candid yet funny demeanor, reminds me of another past champion — Marat Safin. Continue reading
After Rafael Nadal cruised through the Monte Carlo event a few weeks ago plus having not been broken or losing a set all week in Rome, many wondered aloud if Nadal would lose a set at all during the clay court season. That notion was quickly put to rest after Latvian wunderkind Ernests Gulbis amped his serving and return game to push Nadal into a rare third set. But, as usual, the Spaniard figured out a way to grind himself into the finals with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win.
After losing his serve early in the first set mostly to nerves, Gulbis settled down and continued the serving clinics he displayed earlier in the week. Continue reading
With all the recent talk about Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray being in slumps, it’s obvious now it’s time to add Roger Federer to that list. With his loss today to Latvian wunderkind Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 1-6, 5-7, Federer again lost a match that he should have figured out a way to win considering Gulbis choked away six match points while serving for it at 5-4 in the final set. But it was Federer’s zombie-like demeanor throughout the entire match that should be the biggest concern for him and his fans going into the French Open. Continue reading