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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Kyle Edmund Confirms Split With Coach After Early Exit In Chengdu

It is a turbulent time for the former Australian Open semi-finalist.

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Kyle Edmund’s recent lull in form is showing no signs of letting up after he crashed out in the first round of the Chengdu Open in China.

 

The seventh seed could only win five games during his 6-2, 6-3, loss to Chile’s Christian Garin. A player ranked just one spot below him in the ATP rankings at 33rd. During the 72-minute encounter, Edmund won 50% of his service points compared to his opponents tally of 75%. He was also broken two consecutive times in both sets.

“I think it’s my best match this year on hard court for sure,” Garin told atptour.com. “Kyle is a tough opponent to face in the first round, so I’m very happy with the way I played.”

Edmund has now lost four consecutive matches on the tour dating back to the Rogers Cup in August. Something that last occurred during the European clay-court swing of the tour earlier this year. However, two of those losses were to rising star Daniil Medvedev, who has won more matches than any other ATP player so far in 2019.

Shortly after his exit from Chengdu, Edmund confirmed that he has parted ways with coach Mark Hilton. A former professional tennis player who reached the second round of the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. The two officially ended their partnership last week.

Until a replacement is found, Edmund will be guided in Asia by Colin Beecher. Beecher had worked with Edmund in the past and is the former captain of the British Fed Cup team. The 48-year-old is also currently working with Dan Evans, who is also without a permanent coach.

Evans faired better on the first day of competition in Chengdu. Taking on Chinese world No.222 Bai Yan, he battled to a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), victory after two-and-a-half hours of play. Evans was down a break twice in the decider before fighting back to clinch victory. He will play Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.

Evans has now recorded 36 wins in 2019 compared to 17 for Edmund. Although Edmund has been hampered by a knee issue in recent months.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga becomes the first player to win four titles in Metz

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back from one set down to beat Slovena’s Aljaz Bedene 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 after becoming the first player to win four titles at the Moselle Open in Metz.

 

Tsonga becomes the ninth French winner in the past eleven editions of the Metz ATP 250 tournament. Since Gael Monfils’s triumph in 2009 David Goffin and Peter Gojowczyk are the only non French players to win the Moselle Open.

Tsonga, who made his come-back from a seven-month lay-off due to a left knee injury at last year’s edition of the Metz tournament, held each of his 17 service games and dropped just four first serve points.

The first set went on serve without break points en route to the tie-break. Bedene opened up a 4-0 lead en route to winning the tie-break 7-4 after 57 minutes.

Tsonga saved the only break point of the second set which came down to the tie-break. Tsonga won the tie-break 7-4 to force the match to the decider.

Tsonga claimed the first break in the second game of the third set to race out to a 3-0 lead. Bedene saved two break points in the fourth game and one more chance in the sixth game but he he held his serve at deuce. Tsonga never looked back in his service games and closed out the match on his first championships point with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Tsonga has won 10 of his 18 trophies on French soil.

“Mentally I was very strong. I served really well when I needed to. The match was not easy at all. Aljaz was playing really well and it was a long match. I am definitely happy to win here again. It was a very difficult match. I stayed calm, focused on doing the basics well and waited for the right moment to change the rallies. ”,said Tsonga.

 Bedene beat two seeded players Gilles Simon and Benoit Paire to reach his first final since Buenos Aires last February.

“I only dropped serve twice this week, so that is probably the best serving week of my career. I had chances today, I had a set, 4-3 and a break point. He served well and I picked the wrong side, but it was close and it could have gone either way. I am disappointed. I wanted to win, but I am also happy with the week”, said Bedene.

 

 

 

 

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In-Form Daniil Medvedev Conquers St Petersburg

The world No.4 produced a dominant display to clinch his first ever ATP trophy on home soil.

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Rapidly rising star Daniil Medvedev produced an emphatic display to become the first Russian man to win the St Petersburg Open since 2004.

 

The world No.4 brushed aside Croatia’s Borna Coric 6-3, 6-1, to clinch his third ATP trophy of 2019. Medvedev was in clinical form against Coric from the onset as he dropped only eight points behind his serve and broke four times in total. The only negative to Medvedev’s performance was his unforced error count of 21, which was more than twice the number of winners he produced (nine).

“I’m really happy, my style is more to hide my emotions, but it was hard not to scream with joy,” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I am really very happy, and thank you very much for your (the crowd) support, today was a full house.’
“I won’t list all the people to whom I would like to devote this victory to because even if my tennis is where I am now (in fourth place in the world), all this would have been impossible without many people.”

Sunday’s victory continues what is a remarkable run for the 23-year-old, who has reached the final of five consecutive tournaments on the ATP Tour. During the Summer Medvedev clinched his maiden Masters title in Cincinnati and then finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the US Open. He has now recorded 54 wins this season. More than any other player on the tour so far this year.

Medvedev’s surge in form is one that has impressed Coric, who was playing this week for the first time since withdrawing from the last grand slam of the season due to a back issue. St Petersburg was the first final Coric has contested since October 2018.

“Naturally, he picked up the keys to my game. He was better in absolutely everything and did everything much better than me.” Coric analyzed during his press conference.
“I tried everything I could, all the tactics and everything I could think of. Nothing more to say here. He had the answers to all my questions. He played just incredible.”

Medvedev has now won 24 out of his last 27 matches played and claimed 56 out of 68 sets played. He is the fourth Russian to win the St Petersburg title and first since Mikhail Youzhny back in 2004.

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