RG14: “Good Gulbis” showed up to make it to the 4th Round - UBITENNIS
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RG14: “Good Gulbis” showed up to make it to the 4th Round

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TENNIS RG14 – Ernests Gulbis of Latvia is an enigma or perhaps had split personalities. There is “Good Gulbis” and then there is “Bad Gulbis.” Today he faced Radek Stepanek and good Gulbis took the match 6-3 6-2 7-5. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

Ernests Gulbis (18) of Latvia is an enigma or perhaps had split personalities. There is “Good Gulbis” and then there is “Bad Gulbis.” No one who has seen him play doubts that he is talented and has the potential for greatness. Since turning pro in 2004, the 25-year-old has shown much on a consistent basis to prove his admirers right. He is often crashing out of tournaments early or seemingly capitulating in big matches. Added to this, he has a certain flair for on court dramatics as well as conversational public statements (Bad Gulbis). However, he is 6-0 in finals including 2 titles this year in France at Marseille early in the year and last week in Nice (Good Gulbis). The Latvian has an abysmal record at the majors. In his 27 appearances at the majors, he has only gone past the 2nd round four times and his current 3rd round appearance here in Paris is the furthest he has gone in a major since 2008. Having achieved this minor success as well as a good showing during this year’s clay court season, Good Gulbis was more than ready to deal with his unseeded opponent, Radek Stepanek, a player he holds a 3-0 lifetime record against. Good Gulbis took the match 6-3 6-2 7-5.

Stepanek though mostly known for his doubles prowess is a very competent singles player. He kept things lively throughout the match but he could not deal with the in-form Gulbis on this day. Gulbis broke early the 1st set and was soon at 4-1. He was then closed it out 6-3. His serving for the match was very impressive. He was getting in 63% of his first serves and winning a phenomenal 94% of those points combined with 45 winners and 30 errors. “Today I’m very pleased. Today I served well. [Stepanek] had only one break point. Served, yeah, average, one to two aces a game. Any opponent is going to have trouble with that.” Gulbis would later state. With this much confidence on serve, it was no surprise that the Latvian was very aggressive on his return game and soon had a double break in the 2nd set to serve it out 6-2 on an ace. Stepanek was able to keep the scoreboard in his favour as he served first in the 3rd set. He attempted to put the pressure on Gulbis who was serving down 4-5. However, the Latvian was able to turn the tables quickly on his opponent as he not only held serve for 5-5, he broke to serve for the match at 6-5. On his 19th ace of the match, Gulbis won 6-3 6-2 7-5 and is through to the 4th round to face Roger Federer (4).

Gulbis had a lot to say in his post-match press conference. He spoke about the reason for his poor performance at the majors; “I did a lot of bad decisions careerwise. Maybe not even just bad decisions, but just not paying too much attention to the things what I do, you know, not paying too much attention how to treat my body, how to practice…” He was also very optimistic about his matchup against Federer and noted that he has a game plan but not willing to share at this point. However, he is not afraid of the matchup; “I wouldn’t consider myself as a favourite. Roger will always be favourite against guys who are ranked lower than him probably. But I’m not scared of that match at all if I would have to play against him. I played him three times, I beat him once. I’m really confident.”

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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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