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Ernest Gulbis: The Man of Today and Star of Tomorrow

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 14:  Ernests Gulbis of Latvia plays a backhand against  Roger Federer of Switzerland in their quarter final match during the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 14, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Robert OrzechowskiAnalyst IMay 17, 2010

Ernest Gulbis, the 21-year-old Latvian superstar, has burst upon the tennis scene. Many who have followed him think it is about time. 

Recently, he defeated Roger Federer at the Rome Masters, and lost a close one to Rafael Nadal in the same tournament.

Gulbis did not get a chance to rematch against Nadal because Federer avenged himself, and beat Gulbis in a close three setter at the Madrid Masters.

He lost to Federer almost by the same margin as he lost to Nadal. If he is consistent, then this must mean Nadal and Federer are playing on the same level.

Federer seems to play better on the high altitude of Madrid, which may explain his stronger showing. 

Nadal may have upped his game and that allowed him to defeat Federer. We can only speculate that he would have beaten Gulbis, regardless. 

Can Federer maintain his level and compete with Nadal at the lower levels of Paris, France? If his backhand can counter Nadal's high forehand then he may have a fighting chance. 

Also, Roger needs to step into more of Rafa's second services and be aggressive with them. 

Roger needs to rid himself of his psychological Nadal demons and play fresh. Nadal is in his head. Nadal is ruthless and will not hesitate to pounce on the Federer errors should they grow too much.

Federer needs to attack Rafa's backhand because he is not a true lefty. He also needs to cash in on more break points, and must keep a high level of first services in play.

That being said, Gulbis is the man of tomorrow.

A big knowing wink goes out to Anti-Matter.

 

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