Close, Gublis – Really Close

I am now even more sure that Gulbis is heading for top 10. The question is just how fast. Yesterday he actually played BETTER than Nadal like 70% of the match. That’s my opinion. He was actually giving Nadal a hard time both on serve and return games. First set was OK from both. Second set, I think both players were more on top of their opponents’ game, but less on top of their own game. Gulbis was fabulous at the net, drop-shotting, firence groundstrokes and really well-balanced serving. I’ve seen Gulbis play good before, but you just see the potential. I would definitely classify Gulbis as an all-rounder. He has every shot in the book and uses them all efficiently.

What impressed me the most with second and third sets, were some of the rallies. He was playing with a lot of BRAIN. He was able to build up an attack, an approach shot, a volley, drop-shot… you name it. I was even surprised to see him dominating some rallies on Nadal’s serve where Nadal had control and Gulbis was able to turn defense into offense and outplay Nadal from the back. If Nadal struggles to run down drop shots and make something out of it, you bet they’re some decent shots.

I always compare him to Del Potro, Cilic, maybe Nishikori too because their all late 80 models and do not lack talent in terms of potentially going all the way to the top. What I prefer from Gublis over the other three is the ability to play smart. He had enough unforced errors to say that had I made that and that shot I would have won it. Still, unforced errors have to be approaching minimum. I wouldn’t change his style to become more topspinny, because that’s what his game is, but more aware of opportunities and not wasting them.

I guess this comes with experience and I see a lot of similarities to another player who became great after a few seasons of high potential but not perfect output. You know who. Roger Federer.

Enough Gulbis talk, Nadal won and his still the best.

Today, Federer will play Stepanek, Tsonga starts it off against Granollers, Nalbandian-Berdych is my biggest recommendation, Djokovic plays Hanescu, Lopez-Ferrer in a full Spanish affair, lastly Roddick faces Robredo with a perfect record.

Federer d. Stepanek, Tsonga d. Granollers, Berdych d. Nalbandian!!, Djokovic d. Hanescu, Lopez d. Ferrer, Roddick d. Robredo.

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2 Responses to “Close, Gublis – Really Close”

  1. Jeff Says:

    I don’t know about Gulbis yet, sure he’s a smart player and has some potential, but I don’t know about him in the long term. He’s had a lot of hype, but from what I can tell no major wins yet.

    I like the call on Berdych beating Nalbandian as I think Nalbandian is a little overrated these days. While I’m not completely sold on Berdych, his win over del Potro is much more impressive than Nalbandian’s win in Stockholm, and Nalbandian has done very little to impress this year in general.

  2. T.O.M.A.H.A.W.K. Says:

    OFF TOPIC, but I want to post this in this blog ‘coz it’s everybody’s question:

    At the end of the 2008 season, the points a player has earned in his
    ranking will be doubled. Starting in 2009, the new ranking structure
    will be in place with new points structure and new ranking formula. Here
    is a tournament point breakdown for the different classifications from
    the quarterfinals-on:

    Grand Slam: 2000 (Winner), 1200 (Runner-up), 720 (SF), 360 (QF)
    Masters 1000: 1000 (Winner), 600 (Runner-up) 360 (SF), 180 (QF)
    ATP 500: 500 (Winner), 300 (Runner-up), 180 (SF), 90 (QF)
    ATP 250: 250 (Winner), 150 (Runner-up), 90 (SF), 45 (QF)

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