BNP Paribas Open Day 3 Review: Ernests Gulbis Earns First 2015 Win

 

BNP Paribas Open

Photo courtesy of www.zimbio.com

The Tennis review looks back at Ernests Gulbis’ first win of 2015 on the third day of the BNP Paribas Open and gives its player of the day award to the fourteenth seed.

Player of the day: Ernests Gulbis. 

Gulbis, ranked 15 in the ATP rankings, earned his first win on the ATP tour in 2015, beating Daniel Gimeno Traver 6-4, 6-1.

Gulbis was 0-5 in 2015 prior to the victory. Gulbis grabbed his first win of the season with his service in full swing. The Latvian hit 15 aces and won 87% of points behind his first serve. The Latvian won 75% of his total service points.

Gulbis saved three break points, and broke his opponent three times, winning 57% of points when he had a look at a Gimeno Travern second serve.

Strong service and return stats like those are just what the Latvian needed after his dismal start to the season. Gulbis is a confidence player, and a streaky one, too. A few decent performances could wind him up again and get him going on another winning streaks  just like he winds up for his unique forehand to hit powerful winners.

Gulbis struck plenty of forehand winners against Gimeno Traver as he romped through the second set, losing just one game.

Watch the video below to see Gulbis’ extreme wind up on his forehand. 

The win is Gulbis’ first since reaching the 2014 Moscow semi-final. The 2014 Roland Garros semi-finalist picked up an injury in his U.S Open second round match last season with good friend Dominic Thiem and has struggled ever since.

Next up for Gulbis is Adrian Mannarino who beat 19th seed Fabio Fognini. Gulbis lost to Mannarino the only time they played, in 2011 on grass at Queen’s.

If Gulbis gets past Mannarino, who knocked out 19th seeded Fabio Fognini, he could face Andy Murray. The Scot, who leads Gulbis 5-1, would need to be at the top of his game- the last time he faced Gulbis on hard courts, in 2013 in Montral, he was overwhelmed in straight sets.

Gulbis earned that win on a similar medium-slow fast hard court which allows Gulbis to serve big and fire away at short returns and set up his, at times, sublime shot-making from inside the court.

Commentary by Christian Deverille

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