Gulbis Messes Up Pants, Messes Up Federer’s Clay Debut in Rome
by Sean Randall | April 27th, 2010, 4:36 pm

It took Ernests Gulbis seven tries to finally put away Roger Federer for his biggest career win today in the second round of the Rome Tennis Masters. The 21-year-old added to Federer’s recent ATP tournament misery defeating the World No. 1 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 in harrowing fashion. ADHEREL

After getting dusted in the first set, Gulbis roared back in the second as Federer upped his forehand spray count.

Gulbis grabbed the early break behind a mix of solid play and further Federer errors. But the nerves again caught up to the Latvian who’s had problems finishing off big matches.

After coming up short on two match points on Federer’s serve, Gulbis incredibly wasted four more – serving two double faults! – on his serve at 5-4. Gulbis was broken but Federer handed over another break almost as if to dare Gulbis to try to serve it out again. This time the Latvian did.

In the quote of the year, said Ernests of his six misses, “Well, I shit my pants a little bit, excuse my language.” (We can only hope he was joking.)

“I couldn’t get a serve in, I was shaking. It went my way though today – it was (Federer’s) first match on clay and I got into my rhythm,” he added.

“Tennis used to be a hobby for me, now it’s a job. I had no system when I practiced. I’d practise three days, go out with my friends for two days, practise another three and then go to a tournament. That’s why I was so up and down. Recently I had three weeks where I practised solid and it went really well, so that’s what I have to do.”

Credit to Gulbis in avoiding a monster choke. Long labeled as an underachiever, today he served big, tightened up his groundstrokes when he had to and played really great defense.

But one has to wonder where Federer’s head was at. Watching the end of the match when both players were simultaneously unraveling it almost appeared as if Roger was trying to give it to Earnests, but the kid remarkably kept gagging. Finally Federer did it to himself dumping a meager backhand into the net.

“I hope I can bounce back, it’s usually what I do after a loss like this,” said Federer who was making his clay debut after four weeks of R&R. “Sometimes it takes a loss to shake your mind through. When you lose, you understand how difficult it is to dominate this tour. This knockout format is brutal – one week you are great and the next week you are terrible.

“My game wasn’t up to speed, even at 5-5. My serve wasn’t working at all by then and from the baseline I wasn’t making the balls. I need to put in the hard yards.”

Huh? “One week you are great the next you are terrible”? Roger, don’t you mean to say “At Slams I’m great, at ATP events like this one I am terrible”?

Match points up on Baghdatis at Indian Wells. Loss. Match points up on Berdych in Miami. Loss. Today…meh.

Fact is, Federer’s been two different players the last few years. There’s the really bad one that shows up at ATP events and then there’s the good one that we see at the Grand Slams.

This year Roger’s 6-4 in ATP play, 7-0 in Grand Slam. WTF?

For whatever the reason – focus, priorities, best-of-3 v. best-of-5, pressures, disinterest – this has really been the pattern for quite some time with Federer. So no cause for real panic, yet, but eventually these losses are going to catch up to him at a Slam. And they will. It’s just a question of when.

“I have to do the hard yards now, win ugly, starting with Estoril (next week),” Said Federer who’s never won the Rome title. “I’m still in the doubles and that helps. Every match helps, it’s only training that’s tough but now I’m going to work like mad, I’ll be out on the clay every day. Roland Garros may be soon to you but for me it’s a long way away.”

Federer is six weeks shy of equalling Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 286 weeks at No. 1 and just nine victories from 700 match wins mark.

There were other matches played on a drizzly Tuesday. The second-seeded Novak Djokovic romped to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Jeremy Chardy. No. 4 seed Andy Murray also dominated defeating Italian Andreas Seppi and Victor Hanescu upset Juan Monaco in the only other completed second round match.

Among the first round results, David Ferrer just wrapped up Evgeny Koralev, Lleyton Hewitt had a great win over Mikhail Youhzny. Nicolas Almagro, Thomaz Bellucci, Feliciano Lopez and former finalist Stan Wawrinka were also winners.

CENTER COURT start 1:00 PM
[WC] P Lorenzi (ITA) vs [5] R Soderling (SWE)
[3] R Nadal (ESP) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
[6] F Verdasco (ESP) vs [WC] S Bolelli (ITA)

Not Before 8:30 PM
[13] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] P Starace (ITA)
F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 1:00 pm
[WC] F Volandri (ITA) vs J Benneteau (FRA)
[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
[7] J Tsonga (FRA) vs V Troicki (SRB)
F Lopez (ESP) vs [8] M Cilic (CRO)

COURT 5 start 1:00 pm
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs L Hewitt (AUS)
[WC] Y Allegro (SUI) / R Federer (SUI) vs [6] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS)
[14] J Isner (USA) vs T Bellucci (BRA)

COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
[Q] M Llodra (FRA) vs [Q] S Giraldo (COL)
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs P Cuevas (URU) / J Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 3:00 PM
[11] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs N Almagro (ESP)

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96 Comments for Gulbis Messes Up Pants, Messes Up Federer’s Clay Debut in Rome

csebig Says:


csebig Says:

The only problem is that I have tickets from Thursday and I wanted to see Roger, but hopefully he will play doubles at least.

ThyGodisTennis Says:

If he can’t win Estoril then the he will not win French. In fact the semi streak my finally be coming to an end at the Slams.

He seems to wander off on these matches and I just don’t get it.

O-Kerr Says:

Gulbis did shit in his pants on those 6 match points he failed to convert and had to play 2 more games to close out.

Federer put it nicely that he was asleep and this loss was needed to wake up so when the time comes to defend Titles, he will be there. I hope he does as well as last year overall even better from this point on.

contador, a Gulbis fan looks like mergo888 on Bracket. Look up her draw. Possible that you like him more than you trust his ability to play?

Skorocel Says:

csebig: If I was you, I certainly wouldn’t do that again! Kind of risky to buy a ticket if you only want to see Federer in the closing stages of a MS event these days ;-) LOL :-) As crazy as it may sound, if he hadn’t won that opening match against Serra in Miami, he would’ve been “riding” on a 3 match (!) 1st round losing streak – something which last happened to him somewhere around 2002 or 2003 if I may guess. Hard to imagine that 4 years ago, that number would’be been enough for the entire year…

Skorocel Says:

„Recently I had three weeks where I practised solid and it went really well, so that’s what I have to do.“

Indeed, that’s what you have to do, Ernie :-)

Rsutherland Says:

Sean – Thank you for heading this story with Gulbis as the focus. He is a gifted young player, seems charming and (like Roddick) I find him quite charismatic, esp in interviews.
Besides, certain of Federer’s fans (as much as he deserves attention) will be posting about him vociferously even if your story is about girls’ junior doubles.

sheila Says:

i dont get it. roger won ao, took it to murray and i thought he would be oozing w/confidence. instead, he seems shakey & no confidence. last year he made it to semis of most of these masters events and then, only losing to murray & djokovic. this year, hes losing to berdych, bagdhatis & now gulbis. i’m hoping roger shows his stuff at the majors. if he starts losing early on there, then i will really start to get worried. i hope roger can @ least hold on to #1 ranking for the 6 weeks needed to tie sampras & go beyond after that, well my guess is nadal will be #1 again.

Stephen Says:

Nadal/Djokivic will be number one after the French.

Federer will be one week short of Pete’s record of most weeks at #1. And with no chance of regaining #1 for at least 10 months.

contador Says:

i wish my draw looked like mergo888’s ….she has picked 26 winners!!! she can’t be too blond! i can’t believe the prescience she has…picking names i wouldn’t. that’s why she’s tops.

LOL!! O-Kerr

maybe i do like erno more than i like his efforts he has put into developing his talent. i liked watching gulbis’ tennis when i first noticed his play and personality on court, which was US open 08 against roddick. hadn’t paid attention to him at all before that; neither was i too early to jump on his bandwagon. but once i did, i have come close but haven’t given up on him, even though i had every reason to with his slacker attitude i gathered from his interviews.

anybody that gifted can’t seriously ignore their talent for good, can they?

rafa has charm in spades, talent, mental toughness, workaholic drive, federer has …can’t even describe it other than everything necessary to be the best in his sport and more- born to play tennis. nole has that something, something with his tennis.

Ernie has lacked the drive and maybe he will continue to underachieve. but he could, i mean he has the potential to be right up there, in a safin sort of way. never one to stay on top, even if he he gets into the top ten or wins a major. you laugh, go ahead, but it could happen. i am a gulbis fan, win or lose. so yes, i guess you are right: i like him better than i trust his ability to play; wait, allow me to revise here. i like him better than i trust his ability to play to his potential.

i was not so crazy about Erno to pick him against federer, or really anybody. he’s inconsistent until proven otherwise. he deserves the respect for a big win though and he messed up my draw.

there’s my bubble-headed opinion. we’ll see if he wins the next match. full stop.

loved the match report Sean.

jane Says:

As per the Guardian re: Fed vs. Gulbis: “They hit 77 unforced errors between, sharing about equal blame, and there were a staggering number of shots by both of them that went way long or wide. Gulbis, though, put away 33 clean winners to Federer’s 20, and that was the difference.”

Marty Says:

Other than majors, federer has become a very inconsistent player with many unforced errors and bad serving. Why is he level of play at non majors so inferior. I do think he tries. Also staritn to think that Fed’s serve isthe most important part of his game- especially on the big points. If he has to rely on rallies, he seems to lose.

Lisa Farley Says:

RF died at the conception of double stuff.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Before everyone hops on the “Fed only wins at GS” train, recall that he generally wins a tournament before the GS, so that pretty much doubles his totals: he usually wins Halle before Wimbledon; he won Madrid before French last year, and he won Cincy before the US.

He’s not in his groove yet, he looked awful today, but lets see Estoril and Madrid.

skeezerweezer Says:


Way to call it like it is…..great reporting…


TD (Tam) Says:

Well! It’s a good day for tennis when Federer loses isn’t it, lol. Congrats to Gulbis and his fans.

Good evening everybody. :)

Kimmi Says:

I just have to say..BUMMER! Roger dear Roger. I had a feeling yesterday that this will be tough. Gulbis played him close.. very close in doha..too sad for roger..hope he bounce back!

Conty..congrats Gulbis. great win…but unfortunatly this time not too happy for him ;( he beat my guy.

MUZZZZZAAAAA..very happy for muzza. did not see that match but I heard he played well…margot, did you say he was aggressive?…C’MOOON Muzza. Take down ferrer next, you can do it…yes you can.

Why oh why did verdasco play doubles today? i mean, how many matches does he need to play? thanks god they lost. Be smart verdasco, you need to preserve lots of energy. Good luck tomorrow.

Gannu Says:

Not surprised at all… Earlier i used to get devasated at a fedex loss.. now i have to accept sean’s arguments.. fedex in GS is diff than Fedex in atp events.. and i dont blame him for this.. there is nothing left to prove… and he is going to be like this.. younger players are hungrier..

Neways feddy i hope u give ur best in RG.. thats the only solace for me now..

O-Kerr Says:

I didn’t know that it was Murray’s 1st completed match win at Rome. He’s advanced to second round for the 1st time in 5 attempts with a complete match win. Back in 2008 he reached 2nd round when JMDP retired after 1st game in the 3rd set. Job well done after a couple of bad tournies. His post-match interview was optimistic.

On another note I may have missed before but this was the first time I saw father Gulbis in the stadium. Has the the Latvian business tycoon suddenly started showing interests in his son’s career now? Was it his initiation to hire fitness trainer and full time coach? Three people watching over Ernie’s shoulder could prove to be good for the talented brat.

Michael Says:

It appears that even when Gulbis wanted to lose the match, Federer did not let him do it. That is vantage Federer at his worst. Losing matches in such a bad fashion will sure hurt Federer’s morale going ahead and as Randall put it this is going to catch up anytime soon in grand slams. As a Federer fan, I hope he recovers from this sudden slump soon and start giving his best in tournaments. I can accept Federer losing but not in such a fashion when the Opponent is not playing at his best as Gulbis was. Sure, he has nothing to prove but his brand image will be hurt with such frequent losses to smaller players. I am aware that Federer too will be worried as his fans and try to improve his game.

jane Says:


Starting at 1:00

Guillermo GARCIA-LOPEZ vs Lleyton HEWITT (AUS)
(ESP) Michael LLODRA (FRA) vs Santiago GIRALDO (COL)

followed by

Tomas BERDYCH (CZE) vs Stanislas WAWRINKA (SUI)
[plus Fed’s doubles match is during this time period]

followed by

Fernando VERDASCO (ESP) vs. Simone BOLELLI (ITA)
Jo-Wilfried TSONGA (FRA) vs Viktor TROICKI (SRB)

followed by
Feliciano LOPEZ (ESP) vs Marin CILIC (CRO)

Not Before 8:30 PM
David FERRER (ESP) vs. Potito STARACE (ITA)


JoshDragon Says:

It’s kind of strange to see the top 4 players, losing in the early rounds of these small tournaments. There’s been quite a few times this year where Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, and Murray have lost before the finals or even the semis.

With the way Fed, has been playing recently, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he loses the #1 ranking to Nadal around the time of the French Open.

montecarlo Says:


official site shows this order of play-

CENTER COURT start 1:00 pm
[WC] P Lorenzi (ITA) vs [5] R Soderling (SWE)
[3] R Nadal (ESP) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
[6] F Verdasco (ESP) vs [WC] S Bolelli (ITA)

Not Before 8:30 PM
[13] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] P Starace (ITA)
F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 1:00 pm
[WC] F Volandri (ITA) vs J Benneteau (FRA)
[10] T Berdych (CZE) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
[7] J Tsonga (FRA) vs V Troicki (SRB)
F Lopez (ESP) vs [8] M Cilic (CRO)

COURT 5 start 1:00 pm
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs L Hewitt (AUS)
[WC] Y Allegro (SUI) / R Federer (SUI) vs [6] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS)
[14] J Isner (USA) vs T Bellucci (BRA)

COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
[Q] M Llodra (FRA) vs [Q] S Giraldo (COL)

Not Before 3:00 PM
[11] I Ljubicic (CRO) vs N Almagro (ESP)
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs P Cuevas (URU) / J Monaco (ARG)

So which is the correct one?

montecarlo Says:


OK I got it. You showed all court matches together.

jane Says:

Yep – I went by time rather than court number/location montecarlo. That way we know who’s playing when, since “when” is generally more relevant for us than “where,” unless we’re in Rome of course.
; )

Hoping for some exciting matches tomorrow.

JoshDragon Says:

Nadal vs Kohlschreiber
Ljubicic vs Almagro
Berdych vs Wawrinka

Will probably be the best of the lot, although Tsonga vs Troicki and Benneteau vs Volandri could be really good.

jane Says:

Hope Rafa, Ljub and Berdy prevail in those 3 you list as potentially the best.

On another note, Gulbis reminds me a little of Safin, the way he talks and the way he plays. His serve is awesome. If he does get it together, he can be a threat (consistently) on all surfaces.

margot Says:

Oh dear, the wheels came off the de Bakker bus! Am sorry for that, looked as if he could have been beating Troiki too. He’s played too much tennis, tough on those challenger rounds.Hope Tulip’s fit for Madrid.
von: cheers for your good wishes.

Seth Says:

Congrats to Gulbis.

Federer, remove your head from your lower intestinal track and remember who the hell you are. Thanks.

OllyK Says:

Congrats contador, stu and other Gulbis fans!! Lets hope he can keep this level of play in next matches… ;)

Maxi, I haven’t seen you here since yesterday. I am worried a bit …You are not feeling very well, I suppose. So, I’ll say to you exactly the same what you said to me the day before: “Just go with it. What can you do?” We, Nole fans, watched him playing like crap since beginning of 2010…Your man won AO, been sick and haven’t played a lot of matches since then..If anyone knows what he should do with his game right now, it’s Fed himself. Come on, its FED! Enough said. :)

OllyK Says:

And, of course, congrats to Murray fans! :)

Are we going to have dream semifinal this time, maybe?! ;) Oh, it is early, I know…

Martins Says:


I am from Latvia and lawful rate for betting against Gulbis, because I newer think that Gulbis can win Federer :)

I was shocked, but pleasantly shocked, even if I lost money :)

Huh Says:

Not happy with Fed losin to Gulbis, but life goes on…

R2Y2A4 Says:

Annoyed that Rog lost. Was actually looking forward on him playing. I lost some hours of sleep…

Darn! Win the doubles Rog!
Go Roger!!!

contador Says:

soda is through! the italian put up a decent fight in the 2nd set.


as for the draw challenge, O-Kerr had me looking at “mergo888.” she is in 1st place with 26 correct picks. no, with soda a volandri, and giraldo winning she now has 30.

what is most interesting is that she has gulbis all the way to losing to nadal! lol….who woulda thunk.

i think she picked 1 wrong so far: hewitt over GGL. I got that one.

wawa and birdie are on deck. birdie is going down if mergo888 is right,

contador Says:

hey Martins!

great to see a Latvian here!

how do i say “GO GULBIS” in latvian?

contador Says:

thnks ollyK-

i would have been just as happy if RF had won. but during the match my heart went out to Erno during the “chokefest”

this is a big chance for Gulbis to maybe put more interest into his talent. i hope he wins his next rounds all the way to play nole in the final! but i fear a clay court king reigns supreme.

MarkoPolo Says:

Congrats to Murray Fans. Nice to see Murray get over the early round curse!!!!!! Congrats to Gulbis!!!! But let’s not create a Gulbis bandwagoon and let’s not read too much into Feds loss. He is just human like everybody else, finally enjoying the results of his achievements watching his little girls grow!!!!!! He will be a different Federer come Madrid!!!!! Like many others I was looking forward to his SF clash with Nadal!!!!!!! O well not happening this time around! Moving on!!!!!!! I am still waiting to see Nole’s true form and hope that he will capitalize in this event… Forza Nole!!!!!

Kimmi Says:

hi conty, since everyone is talking about mergo888 i had to look.

She must have known something to pick GIRALDO, GULBIS and VOLANDRI who has not won a tour match like forever btw (as ben said)

Impressed with GIRALDO so far though, now that is what you call “capitalizing” the ferrero upset..with pretty easy score too..WOOT!! Next GIRALDO will probably play Tsonga and you know what..he could win it.

Oh boy Hewitt got daft up by Garcia-lopez..I think this G-Lopez guy could be one to watch hee..the guy is been knocking the door in some MS tourneys!

Gulbis get to play volandri (got to be on Gulbis bandwagon after taking in the federer upset *sigh*)…C’mooon, Go Gulbis..volandri can’t be that good right now, right? but how did he kill bennetau like that 6-2 6-0 hmmmm…this is turning out to be some KRAZY tournament!

O-Kerr Says:

Conty, mergo888 has lots of gutsy picks so either she’s gonna stay at the top or go gown really bad. This is what they do in Las Vegas casinos either they win big or lose big. On the Roulette wheel you either go for red or black. You don’t divide out your bank roll going in. If you play conservatively you never win any money.

contador Says:

well Kimmi-

i am sorry to all my fellow fedfans here. but the maestro will bounce back. it was his first match on clay and Erno, actually i nearly picked him, to be honest.

But GIRALDO, wow. i did not know who he was.

mergo888 actually is at the very top with 34 points in rome.

she has picked all the winners today. i checked out like 10 of the top on the rome leaderboard after that post from O-Kerr, lol..duh, i should have done that as i was picking last saturday!

she has the same winner i do and nole in the final. whew. on the same page there.

check out her draw if you have time, Kimmi.

Kimmi Says:

O-kerr..sooo true very gutsy mergo888..the one that made me spill my coffee is GIRALDO all the way to the semi hahahaha!

O-Kerr Says:

Btw as of now mergo888 is the sole number 1 with 34 points. If she has crystal ball you’ll have Earnie-Rafa and Djokovic-Giraldo in semifinals. Looks absolutely insane but who knows . . . .

MarkoPolo Says:

Nadal’s spin is just too much for Kohli. Nadal is really trouncing him around like a rubber. He is just about to get served a bread stick in the 1st.

Polo Says:

Good morning, everyone. After the heartache of yesterday, I am enjoying Nadal’s game vs Kohl…(hard to spell). Nadal is arguably the best clay court player ever and I would like to relish this opportunity of enjoying his game while he is still at his peak. This is similar to watching Federer before when he was at his prime. I feel lucky that I got to see two of the best tennis players ever, maybe the best two ever, playing at the primes of their careers.

MarkoPolo Says:

And here it goes: Bread stick topped with salt and cheese for Kohli in Rome! What a dream come true!!! Nadal is outstanding!!!!

jane Says:

Volandri has beaten Federer on this court in Rome; it’s his home so I am actually not surprised he beat Benneteau. Nor am I surprised to see G-Lo beat Hewitt. Don’t know Giraldo. Figured Soda would pop.

Speaking of which I see Rafa is laying a beat down on Kohls. And Berdy is winning – yay.

Polo Says:

I should remember not to blink while watching a Nadal match on clay.

Rsutherland Says:

Oh yeah, Nadal is playing isn’t he…lol

contador Says:

hi O-Kerr-

i did some real checking of the rome leaders picks last night.

i couldn’t find anyone who picked gulbis to get to the semi and giraldo too. gutsy, prescient, knows the players…im-pressive!

haha, i stick to the slots only in vegas. but i have a couple friends who play the wheel and would advise exactly that: don’t divide the bank roll- just go for it.

really would not have known giraldo, so no chance there. but gulbis? i did have a “hunch” let’s say but didn’t go for it. after thinking about it, federer was the one i picked with my heart and my gut said “pick ernie”

Sean Randall Says:

Post updated with today’s OOP. Things are going quick with what looks like another Nadal destruction.

Kimmi Says:

jane, i don’t think lots of people knew giraldo, but how impressive he has been so far..the guy can murder the ball!

thanks got kohl got another game in this second set..if rafa does the same kind of score in rome like he did in mc..will be insane! we might as well give him RG trophy!

MarkoPolo Says:

Demolition is a better word!

jane Says:

If Rafa gets on a roll all the way through Roland Garros, he will be even tougher to beat on grass also. His confidence is definitely going to be restored as it’s been over a year since he won a slam and Rafa’s used to having at least one every year around the same time.

It looks like Kohls maybe finding his first serve; he was at 43% for the first set – not good against a stalwart returner like Rafa. The return is important on clay; I thought Fed might’ve returned a little better versus Gulbis, but then again, Gulbis has a wonderful serve – both first and second – so that’s easier said than done.

jane Says:

Oops, didn’t mean to say “tougher” in 9:32 post – just “tough”. Rafa is toughest to beat on clay obviously but if he is playing well he’s been tough to beat on grass in 07-08 also.

Kimmi Says:

talking about gulbis serve, federer said he has got one of the best if not the best second serves on tour, koenig just mentioned that!

contador Says:

poor PK, he avoided being force fed another breadstick at least but that’s all rafa will allow.

next year, Kimmi- i start out this challenge draw from the get-go.

and go with the gut. knowing the players helps and someone like rafa is a wrap if not injured, on the clay.

i don’t know if santiago giraldo is simply great on clay or if the 22 yr old also has been winning on other surfaces. the man is a force. he may well reach the semi and give nole some trouble.

Kimmi Says:

yeeeah kohls is puting up a good to see.

federer about to go down in doubles

jane Says:

Yep, Kimmi, yesterday a couple of Erno’s second serves were just da bomb! They weren’t classified as aces but wowsa. As someone wrote somewhere, he’s got a “live arm”. The more I think on it, the more he reminds me of Safin in some ways.

conty, I think PK will do better this set if he can keep up the strong serving.

Kimmi Says:

No giraldo in the semi conty..Goo Muzzzaaa

Giraldo has been in the challenge tour..this is one of very few main tour tournament he is entering..

kohl has a breakpoint *gulp*

contador Says:

Kimmi- one of the best sources i read last night as far as interview quotes from fed was in a montreal paper, the other the sydney morning herald.

yes, RF, just as i thought has watched gulbis more than played him!
he was sounding like a gulbis fan with his remarks, saying what i have been thinking about gulbis: strong off both wings, one of the best first serves and fastest second serves in the game. also fed added that ernie’s best surface for that second serve of course in hard court. And like everyone, except possibly mergo888, has his doubts about ernie where focus is concerned. the ability and talent all there.

Kimmi Says: the bracket challenge, you have done very good my friend :) I have 17 points so far, almost the last people in the my excitement is fading away fast…but i am curious to see what i will end up with..

contador Says:


i have to be out the door and get down to business. clearly i can’t quit my day job to go gamble in vegas!

but okay….just for you, margo and jane- GO MUZZA

nope, rafa won’t give up a break point for PK but all credit to PK for trying.

see i picked birdie over swiss, very odd for me, since i love stan.
many of the top leaders picked stan to win here. not mergo888.

i was watching early to see soda pop


Kimmi Says:

talk to you later conty..I can watch a little tennis today fortunately. Let see what we will end up with at the end of the day.

Yes, heard federer talk big about gulbis on his post match video interview on youtube..can’t post it here for some reason..

contador Says:

one last thing –

apparently, in Ernie’s interview he said, “i’m still not a tennis freak.”

this was a quote in one of the two online sources i read.

doen’t surprise me that he says stuff like that, even after a big win. i wish he loved the game like roger and rafa but i can think of a couple other superstars who claim to “hate tennis:” agassi comes to mind and safin wasn’t a big fan of tennis. maybe there is a slim hope he can rise further, even with the blah attitude about tennis. he admits he likes winning at leastl.

and i just had to check the challenge before leaving. i am now at 26 points and 1463 but mergo888 in a whopping 10 points ahead of that with 36!

Kimmi Says:

verdasco struggling..c’moon wake up!

jane Says:

Oh crap whomever this mergo88 is, s/he is probably going to be right about Berdy losing. : (

I see Verdasco got the break back.

Kimmi Says:

very tight tie breaker..c’moon verdasco you can do it!

Kimmi Says:

berdy fughting back….i pick berdy c’moon

bolleli set point…verdasco is tired, not moving well…great point to serve setpoint hot sauce

jane Says:

3 tiebreaks simultaneously…

jane Says:

Arrrrrrgh Berdy is going down. Dasco/Bolelli are locked as are Isner/Bellucci

Kimmi Says:

bad error by hotsauce….setpoint # 5 bolleli

Kimmi Says:

bolleli choking 5 set points..really!

Kimmi Says:

on serve but setpoint nando

Kimmi Says:

verdasco miraculously..saving 6 setpoints took the set.

haha. koenig said, “verdasco continues the trend of winning when it matters most”…yeah baby!

Kimmi Says:

wawa..2 match points *gulp* berdy you are suppose to win and then lose to soderling!

Kimmi Says:

wawa choked away a match point..seriously! here we go choke after another

Kimmi Says:

wawa eventually took the match….hahaha margo888 continues to rule :) lol

jane Says:

Both Bolelli and Bellucci are guys to watch on clay in the future. We could call them the Bll bros. LOL.

Kimmi Says:

aah, just double checked, margo888 had berdych winning too.. someone else is catching up

contador Says:

peeking in on livescore-

can’t help myself

kimmi, jane-

no, no….berdie lost in what must have been a sqeeker!

mergo888 was one of the leaders who picked the bird. have to go check how she’s doing, lol…

YAY hot sauce! wooot!

but isner could take down my pick; same with llubici.

go almagro and bellucci!

mergo888 will no longer be the top name if they lose.

match point for the bald bomber!

jane Says:

Djoko may have his hands full with Bellucci; he handled Isner’s serve quite well.

Tsonga’s dominating Troicki so far. I hope Murray gets through and plays Tsonga; that would be a good match to watch.

contador Says:

bellucci made it!

nico in trouble. lubie about to have another match point.


nole is gonna whip bellucci. mergo888 picks nole going all the way to the final.


contador Says:

and so it goes….

if F-lo beats chily, bracket glory days are over for me…but it was fun while it lasted.

jane Says:

I hope you’re right conty : )

i’m happy for Ljub. I like that guy.

Kimmi Says:

woooo, I was away for a bit and came back to see hotsauce won. he saved like 6 setpoints to win that first set… c’mon nando keep tough match with garcia_lopez.

belluci..good to see. I had zeballos a winner in that bracket. Belluci can play on clay but I don’t think has the experience to beat top guys yet.

had almagro winning against ljub, there goes my could i bet against ljub..silly me!

Kimmi Says:

whooo wooo! just saw the results federer/allegro won doubles..c’mon keep going buddy!

contador Says:

yeah i’ve been studying the brackets as if i were about to take the GRE……

mergo888 still rules.

her “giraldo” pick and Erno picks were nothing short of genius.

since JCF went out early it lots of matches make no difference.

other than i love Jo and hope he wins this. nothing against troiki fans. just saying.

nothing matters in this quarter until tomorrow, that is. and i hate to say it my muzza friends, but i picked ferrer. it’s going to possibly be a nail-biter.

unfortunately for either muzza or ferrer, the winner will likely play smokin’ hot columbian clay courter giraldo.

Kimmi Says:

“unfortunately for either muzza or ferrer, the winner will likely play smokin’ hot columbian clay courter giraldo.”

hahahah lolz

Go Muzza…if giraldo get past tsonga which is hard to call..he ca beat both murray and ferrer coz he is hitting the ball on the rising and very hard..davydenko style.

but all that muzza

Commentator said, Monfils is in monte carlo at the moment playing POKAR..what the…that is funny!

contador Says:

aahahahaa- monfils. he can afford it.

can you see him sitting there with a poker-face? sunglasses on?

c’mon, chilli popper play like soda pop. wish i could watch this one and the next.

and ferrer better not fizzle against starace. the italians have been putting up some great tennis for their fans…some of the time.

volandri v gulbis tomorrow and i have no vested interest as far as the bracket goes.

GO GULBIS! pretend u are marat …. AO 05!

hoping federer continues to win some doubles at least.

jane Says:

Ferrer will come through to play Murray is it? But Cilic is not proving to be a clay man! I thought he had it when he won the first set against F-Lo 6-2, but now he’s down a break in the 3rd set. Hmmm. I suppose he could still break back. We’ll see.

Kimmi Says:

jane I am surprised about Cilic..I forgot all about that match after I saw the first set. I don’t think it is the clay thing..cilic has been struggling since the beginning of hard court season in north america. and he continues struggling losing to players ranked way lower than him.

He better pick it up quicky or its gonna be “down the ranking we go again” for him

jane Says:

Kimmi, and he showed so much promise at the beginning of the year too. At the American hardcourt events, I had put his losses down to too much play pre-and-post AO, including DC, but since they are continuing on clay I thought it may be the surface. However, what you say could also be true, i.e., that he’s in a bit of a slump.

Hartmut Hesse Says:

Federer in trouble for Paris title defense?

Is Roger Federer still on track to get in shape for the French Open or is he running out of time to find his form to put himself in position to win the Grand Slam this year?
He did not play well in Indian Wells and Miami and then decided to skip the Monte Carlo 1000 event (like many other top ten players…) and get some more practice in before the long stretch of tournaments until Wimbledon.
But now he lost his first round match in Rome against Ernst Gulbis and he has only the tournaments in Estoril and Madrid left to get in shape and more importantly gain some confidence for his title defense at Roland Garros.
His match against Gulbis was really shaky and he played with not much confidence. He also did not look really fit to me. The way he was sliding and running when he had to play defense, showed that he does not have top fitness yet. He lost his balance many times and that is very unusual for a Roger Federer. So, I see that there is a lot more work to be done on the practice courts, before he will be able to defend his title in Paris.
But I still don’t think that Federer fans should worry too much, because it has been like this many times before, no matter what Fed tells us in his press conferences.
He just does not focus too much on the events besides the Grand Slams. He is just trying to pace himself for the big events, and history showed us that he is a master at doing exactly this. He knows exactly how much he has to do to get where he wants and I am certain that he will be in top shape when the French open start.
I think he will at least reach the final in Estoril and then tries to defend his title in Madrid. Then he has one week rest before the French, which he will use for a last training tune up to find his form.
If he can beat a Rafa Nadal in Paris is still doubtful for me, because Rafa might gain so much confidence by the start of the French that he will be very hard to beat, even though he might be a little more tired than Roger.

Hardy Hesse
Hesse Tennis Training
Professional Training and Coaching for Top Juniors and Professionals

Martins Says:


Yes, Gulbis is from Latvia :) And I am happy say that I am Latvian :)

Thanx Gulbi!

Sharp Federer Sets Up Gulbis Rematch Friday in Madrid; Nadal Gets Monfils Says:

[…] up for Federer is a rematch against the hot-handed Ernests Gulbis who shocked the Swiss last month in Rome. The ever-dangerous Gulbis ripped up Feliciani Lopez 6-2, […]

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