There Will Be An Ernests Gulbis Appearance Tonight In Memphis!
by Sean Randall | February 22nd, 2012, 3:11 pm

If you thought Ernests Gulbis had dropped off the face of the earth, you’re not alone. The good news is everybody’s favorite fun-loving Latvian returns to the semi-big stage tonight in Memphis where Gulbis will have the unenviable task of facing Milos Raonic in a first rounder.

As I said, we’ve hardly heard a peep from Explosive Ernie. Things did look promising for Ernie late summer after he won his maiden ATP title back in Los Angeles. But I guess that was a fluke. Since then Gulbis has been all but on a back of a milk carton – MIA.

Gulbis has a total of six tournament wins post-LA, and he hasn’t won a tournament match since early October losing six straight on the ATP (two of 15 sets) entering the showdown with the Canadian. His ranking has also tumbled off a career-high No. 21 a year ago to No. 70 this week.

That said, Gulbis is still only 23 so the son of a billionaire still has plenty of tennis life in him. It’s just unclear whether he’ll ever fulfill the talent he has, but at least it’s good to see his name still in draws. Though against Raonic, he’ll face someone who can match his power and off the serve, exceed it. Milos is fast becoming one of the best servers in sport, and soon I think he’ll be the best.

Also tonight, Andy Roddick begins his Memphis title defense against fellow vet Xavier Malisse. Roddick’s won all nine previous meets with X-Man, however given Roddick’s poor play and health issues, it’s a toss-up type of match but one that Andy, who’s seen his ranking slide to No. 27 this week, desperately needs.


STADIUM start 10:00 am
[5] P Parmentier (FRA) vs S Arvidsson (SWE) – WTA
J Melzer (AUT) vs D Istomin (UZB) – ATP
[Q] R Ginepri (USA) vs [7] K Anderson (RSA) – ATP
[3] R Stepanek (CZE) vs [Q] B Reynolds (USA) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
X Malisse (BEL) vs [2] A Roddick (USA) – ATP
E Gulbis (LAT) vs [4] M Raonic (CAN) – ATP

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34 Comments for There Will Be An Ernests Gulbis Appearance Tonight In Memphis!

mat4 Says:


I am just watching the first set of the Fed-Rafa semi at the AO for the third time. Fed plays his BH down the line, then he presses with his crosscourt FHs, and finally finishes the points after shorter balls with brilliant inside out FHs.

Why did he change? Why did he go to the net two times in that seventh game? He almost doesn’t take risks, it is all straightforward.

I am utterly confused. I thought, initially, that he is bored by this blueprint, this pattern, but it is just a guess.

What do you think?

mat4 Says:

Finally, it seems it is just a question of patience. “One more ball”, just like Rafa said.

mat4 Says:

Man tends to forget, and it is good to rewatch some matches and compare. The other day I watched Federer against Safin.

Roger is certainly a bit slower now. But I think that there is a tendency to underestimate his backhand. Roger does whatever he wants with it, but he often goes for too much.

And then, the advantage of the lefties. At 4-3, 15-30, twice in a row, Roger chooses the wrong side, instinctively.

Steve 27 Says:

fed fans, forget this loss, coming more in the next months.

Steve 27 Says:

defeat, I mean.

roy Says:

roger is certainly slower?
or maybe he just looks faster against safin who of course is a hell of a lot slower than nadal.
it’s relative.

people don’t slow at 30 unless they have major structural damage.
olympic runners peak around 30, fastest humans on earth.

no excuses for federer. people simply became as good as him. then better.

carlo Says:

jane and alison – I read your comments on the Federer thread. Thanks. But, I’ve quit posting about many tournaments and players because it seems there is simply a lack of interest.

I’m really excited to see how far Raonic goes in Memphis. If Gulbis wins, I’ll change my username to ‘SexyRafa’ or something equally stupid, and I say that with full confidence of Ernie losing :D

Congrats to Nishikori beating JCF and Hanescu! good luck v Wawrinka next round!

carlo Says:

One more thing though, jane – you must be keeping track of results. The famous ATP masters 1000 2012 bracket challenge starts soon in IW!!! teehee…

Kimmi Says:

carlo, dont lose hope you are not the only one. I have followed this week, more results that live matches though..followed WTA dubai too.

My fav petra pulled out due to some illness. Azarenka pulled out too..wozniacki will probably win it now.

I watched Nishikori vs ferrero few days ago, I enjoyed that match. I wonder what happened to nishikori today? he was down a break against hanescu when i looked at live score this afternoon. I have a feeling he lost..

just checking the results as i type. Oh yeah, nishikori came back and won..good stuff. Go nishikori in bueno aires

Davy vs delpo tomorrow, wish i could see that. davy is in a play station mode right now. who do guys think will win?

Roodick vs mallise just starting.

mat4 Says:


I don’t make excuse to Federer. I even think that, focus aside, he plays better than he ever did.

But, please don’t compare runners with tennis players. I should add that runners peaked about 24 for decades, and that Lewis and Christie were the first one to peak after that, and we can presume how.

Then, I also remember 1981, 82 and 83 and the resurgence of Jimmy Connors. I remember also Jim Courier’s career.

All of this remind me of Croesus calling out “Solon” three times from the pyre he was placed on.

Dan Martin Says:

I always like watching Gulbis. He has a live arm and generates power pretty easily, but he has not been able to be consistent to say the least.

Kimmi Says:

roddick had an early break, he gave it back. mallise takes the first set..

jane Says:

carlo, yep, looking forward to the Masters 1000 challenges at ATP. I have no clue how they’ll go this year. Top fours are always good picks, but then there are those (loveable and yet irritating) bracket busters.

Kimmi I’ve been following the scores on Roddick/Malisse. Malisse has only 47% first serves in for the match but it seems Andy hasn’t taken advantage of the second serves. Are you watching?

Kimmi Says:

I dont think there is a stream for memphis yet, tennistv starts tomorrow. They are on serve now. roddick needs to win this set..

Kimmi Says:

No breaks on the second set. mallise is winning 13/13 first serves..100% ouch.

Kimmi Says:

just as i type he loses one of his first serves. he goes from game point 40-15 to deuce. roddick with a sniff.

Kimmi Says:

nah, no luck

jane Says:

He’s holding easily, but he should be taking advantage of Malisse’s second serves. Roddick could improve his return.

jane Says:

Roddick staved off one match point with an ace, but in the end he loses to Malisse in straight sets.

Kimmi Says:

I went away, came back and roddick lost. Roddick is having a hard time with his confidence now. he used to beat guys like mallise and benneatue.

I dont know what he needs to do to get it back, it will be lots of work for sure.

didn’t he win Memphis last year? he will lose lost of points.

Kimberly Says:

He won Memphis last year with that sick shot on math point against raonic. The injuries on the WTA are out of control though I’m not one to talk. Raging tendonitis

jane Says:

With Roddick it’s been a lot of start and stop; he hasn’t had a good stretch of play, with consecutive/steady wins in a while it seems (two seasons now? Since 2009?), some of that was due to injury or illness, and some just bad form. Add to that the fact that a lot of other players, in the meantime, have continued to improve, and thus it makes it even tougher. Roddick could definitely improve his return, he could play more aggressively, and he could move better. So it’s going to be hard, as you say Kimmi. But if his wife is telling people that he may be thinking of retiring to work in radio, then maybe a big part of what’s going on with Andy is that his heart is not in it anymore? He’s always been motivated, for at least a decade now; maybe it’s just winding down.

Gulbis had two break back points, but they are gone – deuce.

Humble Rafa Says:

Gulbis= Mr. “Who Am I sleep with tonight”.

Humble Rafa Says:

The injuries on the WTA are out of control though I’m not one to talk.

Even when these girls are healthy, they have nothing inside their head. Mindlessly bashing the ball is not tennis. When Vika plays Maria…2 women with no brains, almost impossible to watch. Sorry, I had to say that.

fed=overrated Says:

raonic is going to be the one to take down djoker; not right away, of course, but he will eventually. His all-around game is improving and his consistency is getting better. He has lots to work on, but he has the firepower and the latent mental intangibles to be very dangerous to the djoker.

All he has to do is take care of his serve and it puts tremendous pressure on the other guy. If he can get his return game to an elite level and match the consistency of the top 6-7 guys from the baseline, he will be a monster

alison hodge Says:

carlo feb 22nd 12.49pm,unfortunatly i work funny hours,so i dont always get the chance to tune in,not only that i dont always get the tourneys where i am either,in fact the only tourney i used to get was wimbledon on bbc,until i got sky tv installed,now im glued to tennis 24/7/365 when i get the chance,love tennis not just the big 5,id watch anyone,even 2 unranked japanese players,dont care love the sport.

dari Says:

Bummed for Roddick.

Jane is right, he hasn’t had the chance to gain any match confidence/rhythm/ momentum.

Heat wave in the northeast. May even be able to play outside with pants and long sleeves!!!

skeezerweezer Says:


“Andy is that his heart is not in it anymore? He’s always been motivated, for at least a decade now; maybe it’s just winding down.”

He’s motivated, just into something else now,

Gordo Says:

Poor Andy – losing 500 points from last night’s first round loss is going to drop his ranking in the mid 50s.

Points-wise the men are so bunched up that Milos needs to reach the final to stay in the 30s. Should he fall one match short of that and lose in the semis his ranking would drop to around 47. Of course should he win Memphis he would rise to around 23.

Upsets have to give Milos a bit of confidence; before he even stepped on the court for his first round match every other seed in his half of the draw – Roddick (2), Bogolomov (5) and Benneteau (6) had lost.

Steve 27 Says:

Poor, Roddick, he is not a top player anymore. The american is not the same from 2009 and early 2010 who shoul have win Wimbledon 2009 agaisnt Federer, he had I think had 4 set points in the second set, and like fed fans said, “if” he had won that set, he definitely had won that match. Almost three years later, no longer in his prime, I would like to go far in the Olympics and fight for a medal, I think the grass would be more likely to beat Djokovic, would be an unprecedented duel on grass, I think, and better three sets, all could happen, but as long as your ranking does not decline, but would be eliminated in the first exchange. Come on Andy, one last great performance in a major event would be the climax to a great career:
30 titles, 11 consecutive years
Almost a decade in the top ten
1 major and 4 other finals of slams.
5 master 1000
Number 1 in the world in 2003 and other archievements

Steve 27 Says:

should, against, I mean

carlo Says:

Same here, alison, about watching any tennis :) If there is a choice, I’ll take doubles, even mixed dubs over 2 WTA screamers; but if nothing else, I’ll even watch them with the sound muted.

Have you tried online streaming? Usually it’s the only way I can watch early rounds live where I live.And of course challengers, yes I watch those too sometimes, I confess.

alison hodge Says:

carlo sorry i was too busy to reply last night,live streaming hmm, that is an idea yeah,but i think it costs something like a fiver each time you do it,which would stretch my finances to the absolute limit,not to mention my significant others patience lol,nice idea though,however i still check the live scores with basshunter as and when i get the chance,so not all bad news.

Ciarrai Says:

When, o when, will Ernests Gulbis play at the level he is capable of. Maybe he should drop the bad boy acting job and get in touch with his inner Milos Raonic. It would be a shame for E.G. to not realize his large tennis capability.

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