Category Archives: Ernests Gulbis

Rafa Gets The Red Carpet Treatment

I have seen the likes Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova all play in 250/International events, but never have I seen any tournament go as far as to lay a red carpet down for their marquee star. That is, of course, until today. Rafa’s entrance to his match resembled a movie premiere - red carpet, screaming fans, huge bodyguards. It was mayhem. The match was uneventful though, and he dropped only five games en route to a straight sets victory over Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium. He also had a chance to meet the Prime Minister which was pretty cool. Oh, and he smiled. A lot.

A clean-shaven Ernests Gulbis (*gasp*, an oxymoron) toughed out a tight 3 setter to defeat Schuettler yesterday and so a Nadal-Gulbis semi is still on the cards. A matchup more than worthy of a red carpet entrance.

Posted in Bangkok, Ernests Gulbis, Rafael Nadal | Leave a comment

Ernests Gulbis Fought…

No I don’t mean he got himself into a fistfight before his match, nor do I mean he had an argument with his coach during practise. What I do mean is that Ernests Gulbis saved 4 match points and then fought back from 0-4 and 3-5 down in the third set tiebreak to defeat Jurgen Melzer 6-7(8) 6-3 7-6(5).

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A year ago, this kind of result against a top 15 player would’ve been unthinkable. But it is a credit to the hard work and maturity of this ‘new’ Ernests that he has been able to pull off such a monumental comeback. It has been amazing to watch Ernests really mature as a tennis player this year. From his first title in Delray Beach where he completely annihilated one of the worlds most destructive servers, to his run in Madrid where he announced his arrival to the two best players in the world, defeating Federer before giving Nadal a scare.

I really thought that the Hamstring injury that forced him out of Roland Garros and Wimbledon would completely undo all his progress this year, but he seems to be slowly regaining his form from the first half of the year. The reward for all of his hard work is a third round meeting with last week’s Toronto Champion Andy Murray. With such a massive contrast in playing style between these two players, it is definitely the one third-round match that cannot be missed.

Let’s hope that Ernests actually decides to have a shave between now and tomorrow.

Posted in Cincinnati, Ernests Gulbis | Leave a comment

Seeds Tumble as Jankovic, Querrey, Gulbis and Wawrinka All Lose

ATP Washington Draw
WTA San Diego Draw
WTA Copenhagen Draw

There was a mass exodus of seeds in Washington as the 6th, 7th, 9th and 11th seeds of Querrey, Wawrinka, Gulbis, Stepanek and Hewitt all lost on Wednesday in straight sets. Some of the losses weren’t too surprising as Sam Querrey went down to Janko Tipsarevic and David Nalbandian continued his stunning Davis Cup form by demolishing Wawrinka 6-1 6-3. The real shocks came at the hands of the other three seeds as Hewitt was forced to withdraw with a calf injury and Gulbis retired with heat illness and was rumored to be throwing up in the lockerrooms after his match before being admitted to hospital later on. Interestingly, in his first match back after marrying former player Nicole Vaidisova, Stepanek fell easily at the first hurdle. Many blamed him for the decline of the former top tenner Vaidisova, so this is irony at it’s finest.

While there were not as many upsets in San Diego, the Mercury Insurance Open lost it’s number one seed as an injured Jelena Jankovic went down in straight sets to Alisa Kleybanova. Jankovic had twisted her ankle two weeks ago in Portoroz and was forced to withdraw from there, but she chose to play on in San Diego though not at full health. We have seen a lot of that this year with players like Azarenka and Wozniacki among others playing while injured and a lot of it is down the the fact that they will get a big fat ’0′ on their ranks and lose their chunk of the WTA bonus pool. More on that soon.

The Wozniacki Invitational was largely quiet, with all but one seed going through. That would be Tsvetana Pironkova, who fell in straight sets to Anna Lapushchenkova. It’s quite ironic that Wimbledon semi-finalists Pironkova and Kvitova have been struggling ever since. However Kaia Kanepi who blew matchpoints in her quarterfinal match against Kvitova, has since picked up her first ever title and has been looking impressive as ever.

Posted in Caroline Wozniacki, Copenhagen, Ernests Gulbis, San Diego, Washington | Leave a comment

Stanford and Los Angeles Quarterfinals Set

WTA Bank Of The West Classic:

(4) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (WC) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 63 64
(5) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 63 63
Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (6) Shahar Peer (ISR) 64 63
(8/WC) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 63 61

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Thursday saw the second round of both the Bank of the West Classic and the Farmers Classic come to an end. There weren’t too many surprises in Stanford with Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova cruising through to the quarters. Ana Ivanovic failed to build on her first round victory against Kleybanova earlier on in the tournament and lost out against defending champion Marion Bartoli. Many have expressed their dissatisfaction at this result but Marion Bartoli is so underrated and she has quite a good chance of defending he title this week.

The only shock of the day was Maria Kirilenko’s straight sets victory over Shahar Peer. Peer has had a great season this year and has won the most hardcourt matches on the tour in 2010. Kirilenko however has been enjoying a great year herself and the Russian powered to victory without too many problems. What was really surprising was the fact that Kirilenko was able close out the match without any trouble whatsoever. Shahar Peer is usually so good at coming back from the brink of defeat against players with questionable mental strength.

In the doubles, Lindsay Davenport continued her successful comeback with partner Liezel Huber by cruising past Govortsova and Kudryavtseva, Borwell and Kops-Jones built on their huge victory over Raymond/Stubbs by advancing to the semifinals and Vikkiri were also winners.

The Stanford Facebook Page has been uploading videos of all the pressers so check them out.

ATP Farmers Classic:

[1] [WC] A Murray (GBR) d [Q] T Smyczek (USA) 61 46 62
[4] F Lopez (ESP) d D Sela (ISR) 76(2) 64
A Falla (COL) d [5] E Gulbis (LAT) 46 63 76(8)
[WC] J Blake (USA) d B Becker (GER) 75 76(5)

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Over in Los Angeles, top seed and wildcard Andy Murray played his first match at the Farmers Classic. He was given a tough match by the talented Smyczek but the result was never really in doubt as he sweeped up the third set 6-2. Feliciano Lopez and James Blake also won through to the quarterfinals. Blake is pretty much at the last-chance-saloon by now and this win against Becker is certainly a morale booster as he attempts to rejuvenate his career.

The biggest shock on day 4 of the Farmers Classic is Falla’s victory over Gulbis in three sets. Gulbis was up 3-0 in the third set, but a number of poor decisions and bad shot selection brought Falla back into the match. Gulbis was visibly struggling with a hamstring injury but he fought on and Falla played extremely well to see off Latvian.

Today promises to be a great day of tennis with exciting lineups at both the Bank Of The West Classic and the Farmers Classic. Streaming begins in Stanford today and continues as usual over in Los Angeles. Livescorehunter will have streams as usual.

ATP Gstaad Draw

ATP Umag Draw

WTA Istanbul Draw

Posted in Ana Ivanovic, Andy Murray, Ernests Gulbis, Lindsay Davenport, Maria Kirilenko, Maria Sharapova, Marion Bartoli | Leave a comment

Ivanovic makes progress in Stanford

Former world number one Ana Ivanovic moved into the second round of the Bank of The West Classic in Stanford as she defeated Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova 6-3 6-2.

(via. Getty)

In the last two years, Ivanovic has seen her ranking dramatically fall from the very top spot to her current ranking of 63. Her struggles have been well documented and as she fell to new lows this year, losing in the second round of the French Open 3-6 0-6 to Kleybanova and the first round of Wimbledon in straight sets to Shahar Peer, many began to question whether she would ever regain the form that saw her clinch the French Open title in 2008. This win marks a step in the right direction and Ivanovic was quick to attribute her success to her greater fitness levels, after working hard in the gym following her Wimbledon exit.

“I think there were lots of ups and downs in my conditioning,” Ivanovic said. “I have been working a lot on my fitness, because it is something I have been lacking. I think that plays a big part in my game and helps confidence-wise.”

Elswhere, Dinara Safina continued her poor run of form following a serious back injury, slumping to her sixth defeat in a row after losing 4-6 7-6 6-2 to Kimiko Date-Krum of Japan. Other winners on day one included Agnieszka Radwanska and Dominika Cibulkova.

Over in Los Angeles at the ATP Farmers Classic, after having to retire in his first round match at Roland Garros and withdraw from Wimbledon altogether, Ernests Gulbis notched up a win in his own comeback match, defeating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 7-5 7-5.

Posted in Ana Ivanovic, Dinara Safina, Ernests Gulbis, News | Leave a comment

Djokovic withdraws, Andy Murray takes a wildcard into Los Angeles, plus Gstaad Main Draw

World number two Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Farmers Classic citing undisclosed personal reasons. Luckily for the tournament, Andy Murray agreed to take up a wildcard into the Main Draw in the eleventh hour. Los Angeles also marks the return of young star Ernests Gulbis who was forced to withdraw from the French Open and then sit out of Wimbledon with a Hamstring tear.

[1WC] Andy Murray (GBR) bye
Qualifier - Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS)
Karol Beck (SVK) - Alejandro Falla (COL)
Lukas Lacko (SVK) - [5] Ernests Gulbis (LAT)

[4] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) bye
Xavier Malisse (BEL) - Dudi Sela (ISR)
Leonardo Mayer (ARG) - [WC] James Blake (USA)
Benjamin Becker (GER) - [8] Mardy Fish (USA)

[6] Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) - Santiago Giraldo (COL)
Qualifier - Qualifier
Kristof Vliegen (BEL) - [WC] Ryan Sweeting (USA)
[3] Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) bye

[7] Horacio Zeballos (ARG) - Rainer Schuettler (GER)
Qualifier - Robby Ginepri (USA)
[SE] Kevin Anderson (RSA) - Illya Marchenko (UKR)
[2] Sam Querrey (USA) bye

Interesting draw here.  On paper, the possible Murray-Gulbis quarterfinal matchup must be considered the highlight of the draw as the Latvian was in such great form before he got injured. However, Gabashvili and Falla are also two capable players - Gabashvili taking out Roddick in Roland Garros and Falla serving for the match against Federer in the first round of Wimbledon so it definitely isn’t a certainty. Out of the bottom half both Baghdatis and Querrey have a great chance of moving through to the semi-finals as the draw is quite top-heavy.

And onto the Gstaad Main Draw:

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[1] Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) - Evgeny Korolev (KAZ)
[WC] Alexander Sadecky (SUI) - Qualifier
Andrey Golubev (KAZ) - Qualifier
Frederico Gil (POR) - [5] Tommy Robredo (ESP)

[4] Albert Montanes (ESP) - Pere Riba-Madrid (ESP)
Denis Istomin (UZB) - Qualifier
Daniel Brands (GER) - Peter Luczak (AUS)
Qualifier - [7] Richard Gasquet (FRA)

[6] Victor Hanescu (ROU) - Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
[WC] Agustin Velotti (ARG) - Andreas Beck (GER)
Igor Andreev (RUS) - Florent Serra (FRA)
Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) - [3] Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)

[8] Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) - Jeremy Chardy (FRA)
Thiago Alves (BRA) - Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)
Dustin Brown (JAM) - [WC] Michael Lammer (SUI)
Marcel Granollers (ESP) - [2] Nicolas Almagro (ESP)

The possible semi-final matchups of Youzhny vs. Gasquet and Bellucci vs. Almagro are intruiging to say the least. Gasquet returns after a brief injury spell as well as Andreev also returning to competition. There was a rumour that Andreev was even considering retirement by the end of the year but hopefully that isn’t the case. Life for FootFault wouldn’t be the same without the great mixed-doubles team of Andreev and Kirilenko.

Posted in Andy Murray, Ernests Gulbis, Igor Andreev, Mardy Fish, Mikhail Youzhny, Nicolas Almagro, Novak Djokovic, Polona Hercog, Richard Gasquet, Tennis, Thomaz Bellucci | 1 Comment