US Open 2014 – Ernests Gulbis: “I completely swap his rhythm and his vision of the court” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Ernests Gulbis: “I completely swap his rhythm and his vision of the court”

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TENNIS US OPEN 2014 – 27th of August 2014. E. Gulbis d. K. DeSchepper 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. An interview with Ernests Gulbis

 

Q. Pretty relatively easy time returning a big server. Only one ace.

ERNSTS GULBIS: I played with him in Queen’s. He served much, much better. But it helped me that we played in evening. Especially in the end of the second set, when it just became dark, when the light started to be a little bit stronger, when you toss the ball you lose it a little bit for a while. I think that’s his biggest problem, so that’s why he serves a lot of double-faults. Also I felt if I change a little bit the position of my return, I completely swap his rhythm and his vision of the court, so…

Q. It worked.

ERNSTS GULBIS: It worked (smiling).

Q. What has Gunter brought to you specifically for this tournament?

ERNSTS GULBIS: For this tournament? Nothing (laughter). We were practicing really hard because I skipped the tournament after Wimbledon. I took some time off because I needed it. After Paris probably I didn’t feel it at the first, but probably a little bit overexcited after that result. So I needed some time off. I took two weeks off and then I started to practice. We had a good mid-season preparation, similar stuff we did in the end of the season. In November and December, we did similar stuff now. I hoped for better results in Toronto and Cincinnati, but my game just wasn’t there. So here the first couple days of practice I was struggling a lot with my game. Yesterday I took a day off. Today before the match, you know, I started to hit the ball really well. It’s in the last moment basically the game came together.

Q. All because of Gunter?

ERNSTS GULBIS: If you say so. I have no problem with that. I’m looking for result. Whoever makes it happen, it’s good.

Q. On the technical side of your forehand, I know…

ERNSTS GULBIS: I have no idea. Honestly, I have no idea (smiling).

Q. I know you haven’t maybe broken it down or don’t think about it, you just do what you do.

ERNSTS GULBIS: You’re right. You have the answer already (laughter).

Q. Here is my question specifically. If you have no answer, you have no answer.

ERNSTS GULBIS: Okay.

Q. You start here, but before you hit, you take it to where everybody else does right in here with the elbow in.

ERNSTS GULBIS: Basically for style. What I do here is just for style (laughter).

Q. Just for style points?

ERNSTS GULBIS: Yeah, just to be different.

Q. How did that come about? Did you one day just start doing that?

ERNSTS GULBIS: You play the best tennis when you don’t think. It’s simple. Whatever comes out, comes out.

Q. Your coach didn’t say, What the heck are you doing?

ERNSTS GULBIS: No. He likes my forehand. I like my forehand.

Q. It’s a cool forehand. It’s unusual. Maybe some coaches would have said something.

ERNSTS GULBIS: No, no, no. I just pay no attention to it. I play like I feel. Again, the best is when you play from your subconscious and when you don’t think. You cannot think on court. You don’t have time. You just have to react. And, yeah, technique. You can work on certain things, but I definitely didn’t work that my forehand looks specifically or better or worse.

Q. What did you learn about winning six matches at the French, or playing six matches?

ERNSTS GULBIS: The biggest lesson I learned was that in semifinal against Novak that he felt similar to me. You know, it wasn’t that I walked up on court against somebody who is overwhelming me with confidence. He’s been there a lot of time. But anyway, every time is something different. Every semifinal, every final is something different. Final I never was, so I wish that I can experience that. But just to understand that you can be on the same level, that was the biggest lesson. Because I was feeling extremely tired because of the heat and because of the condition that day, because it was really humid and hot the first day of the whole two weeks. He felt the same. The first two sets I lost. I thought, That’s it. The guy is a machine. But in the third set I saw him already breaking down the same as I did. So that’s it about me. Yeah, even more confidence.

Q. A question about your formal education. When did you stop attending school on a regular basis? Did you finish the equivalent of high school independently?

ERNSTS GULBIS: Yeah. Well, I was going to school on a pretty regular basis until grade nine, so that means after nine years. The last three years of school I did in a sports school where I just had to do all the exams and all the studies. Like let’s say you have points what you need to get. So, yeah, last three years. Last three years was different. But in the end anyway, you have to make all the exams and all the tests. By Latvian law, you have to make it just to get a diploma, same as everybody else. It’s just I was lacking just the school time, you know, just lessons. But I was taking private teachers. It is different. It is different and difficult at times. My mother was very strict about me studying and not putting it aside.

Q. In a match specifically.

ERNSTS GULBIS: In a match specifically? No. In a match specifically, I don’t think so. In the life on road, life on tour, you know, the less you think, it’s easier. You don’t think, you just do. You wake up in the morning, you go to practice, you eat, you sleep. It’s just part of a routine. When you start to question yourself, Why am I doing this? What are my true goals in life? What is my true motivation? Then you start to question, Why am I doing this? I’m going to be 30 years old, and I’m still warming up like a 10-year-old kid, you know, playing balls, running around. Why? For what? For example, for me I have to remind myself What is my true motivation.

Q. I remember an interview with you talking about Dominic. You said you were giving him a lot of advice. It was some time ago. What is your relationship now? Are you a teacher for him?

ERNSTS GULBIS: I never said that I’m teacher, but we have a good relation. He gave a lot to me by helping me to practice. Because if I see young guy who is so motivated and so eager to practice, you know, let’s say I have to be not worse than him, so I push myself even more through that. When he saw me pushing more, then he was pushing more. It’s a win-win situation.

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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Vasek Pospisil dispatches James Ward in Eastbourne

Vasek Pospisil is into the second round at Eastbourne.

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Vasek Pospisil (@TennisCanada - Twitter)

The Canadian won his first match on grass of the year beating the local favourite James Ward.

 

Vasek Pospisil is through to the second round of the Viking International ATP 250 in Eastbourne after beating the Brit James Ward in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes on court number two.

“It was a good match, I played pretty well, I thought I served well and he is a tough opponent on grass because he has a tough first serve but I was pretty sharp and played well when I needed to and happy to get the win”.

It was the Canadian who had the first chance to break at 1-1 and he got the early break and that one break was good enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second set was much of the same and actually was identical to the first with the world number 66 getting the break to take a 2-1 lead but faced a breakpoint when consolidating the break.

Again that one break was enough for him to serve out the match and book his spot in the next round. This is Pospisil’s first win since the month and after the match, he spoke about how the last couple of months have been for him.

“It was good I just took a break from the tour just to refresh the mind and the body and I hadn’t seen my family in nine months so it was a good reset and I felt I needed a break to kinda be excited about touring and the covid conditions and now I’m back and I am happy to be back and I am playing well so it was a nice break.”

Pospisil will now face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the next round after the Spaniard beat the Swede Mikael Ymer in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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