Ernie Beats Federer, Still Not That Into Tennis
Posted by gauloises1 on April 27, 2010
Biggest shock ever/mildly surprising result (depending who you ask) in Rome today as Ernests Gulbis came back from a set down to hand Roger Federer his earliest defeat at this event in seven years.
I didn’t see the match and I’m not really sure what to think about it. I do find the fact that Ernie apparently squandered six match points, including two double faults, before serving it out to love, somehow delightfully reassuring. He said afterwards:
“I couldn’t put a serve in [...] I was shaking. I didn’t know what to do. It was a terrible feeling.”
Or, according to possibly more frank sources on twitter, he admitted to “shitting his pants”. Which Roger won’t be doing.
“You cannot be 100 per cent all the time,” Federer said. “Sometimes it takes a loss like this to wake up and shake your mind. It can be that things are too simple, and days like this make you realise how difficult it is to dominate the tour. I didn’t feel safe at any time today, my game wasn’t up to its normal standard. Of course Roland Garros is in the back of my mind but I have two tournaments to get the wins I need. And I’m still in the doubles.”
As for Ernie, I’m feeling more and more like he’s destined to be a dangerous floater; the guy who drives his fans to distraction, but who none of the top seeds want to see in their part of the draw. I’m not convinced yet about his ability to put together back-to-back wins with enough frequency to be, say, a fixture in the top 10 despite all his talent, but there are more deep runs at Slams in his future. What do you think?
Anyway, I was amused by this quote from him:
“I just started concentrating more on tennis, treating it more like my job,” Gulbis said. “Last year I didn’t take it as a job. It was more like a hobby. I didn’t have a system.
“Before I was practicing maybe three days and then going out with friends two days. I’m still not a big tennis freak … but I have a better system. My team is perfect now. It’s my coach, my fitness coach and my father.”
Imagine what he could accomplish if he ever became a ‘big tennis freak’. The mind boggles.
Eye of the tiger.
Hair of a mad geography teacher.
Ernests Gulbis, ladies and gentlemen.