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Ernests Gulbis, the revelation of this French Open

Posted under France,French Open,Sports

Ernests Gulbis, the only Latvian ever to play in a Grand Slam tourmament, is truly the REVELATION of this year’s French Open. For his second participation, he reached the French Open quarter-finals, as he eased to victory in three sets over home favourite Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3. Gulbis’s best Grand Slam performance before this year’s Roland Garros had been a fourth-round run at the 2007 US Open.

Ernests Gulbis Latvian tennis player

Ernests Gulbis Latvian tennis player

Ernests Gulbis Latvian tennis player

In quarter-finals, he lost against his childhood training rival, the Serbian Novak Djokovic (third seed) in a tight three-setter, 7-5,7-6 (7/3), 7-5. The match was a testament to both Ernests’ talent and lack of experience. He impressed everybody with several flashy winners, but displayed his fondness for drop shots a tad too frequently and Djokovic was able to read his tactics by the middle of the match. He also committed unforced errors at the most unfortunate of moments – including a couple of double faults to set up break points.

Ernests Gulbis Latvian tennis player

Ernests Gulbis, the revelation of this French Open

Nonetheless, it was a tremendous showing by this 19 year-old in only his fifth Grand Slam appearance and a cause for celebration all around. He will head to the grass courts of Queens Club next, in preparation for The Championships at Wimbledon, beginning on June 23rd. In spite of losing in quarter-final, Gulbis could be more than satisfied with his performance. He admitted that he was surprised as anyone by his progress in Paris but was happy to see his decision to skip the Rome and Hamburg Masters, in favour of practice. “I’m not sad at all. I’m happy for the tournament and I think that it was a really good experience for me to play number three in the world,” said Gulbis, who had beaten seventh seed James Blake in the second round. “I’m younger (than him), so I think today he won with experience. I don’t know if I can beat him but at least I can play on the same level so that gives me a lot of confidence for the next tournaments.”

Ernests Gulbis Latvian tennis player

“Going into Roland Garros, I didn’t think the French Open would be where I’d have my best Grand Slam result,” he said. “But I practiced well for three weeks and worked on my physical condition and I changed some tactics. For example, one year ago I was playing some pretty stupid claycourt tennis. I’d go for winners when I didn’t need to and it was more hardcourt tennis. Now I play like a claycourter and only go for winners when it’s possible.” said Gulbis who trained alongside Djokovic at the Munich academy run by Niki Pilic, the former Germany and Croatia Davis Cup coach.

We can surely hope to see and hear more about Gulbis in the coming months and years!

Ernests Gulbis, the revelation of this French Open

Ernests Gulbis, the revelation of this French Open

Ernests Gulbis, the revelation of this French Open

Ernests Gulbis Latvian tennis player

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