Back To Basics In Beijing : Gulbis and Safin Both Lose (Amongst Others)
Another absolute heartbreaker for Ernests Gulbis fans last night. After winning a brilliant first set against Tsonga, Gulbis squandered break point oppertunities in the first game of the second set and Tsonga never looked back. As his serve started clicking, Gulbis’s mental game began to falter and he dropped the last two sets. It has been the best week of 2009 for Gulbis, coming through qualifying to reach the quarter finals. It is hard not to be disappointed despite this result, as he had a really good chance to beat Tsonga in straights. With his new coach and hopefully new found remembrance on how to play tennis, we can only hope Gulbis continues to improve and play well throughout 09.
Marat Safin was completely disappointing in his routine 3 and 1 loss to Nadal. Nadal played well, but Safin was nothing short of woeful. I only saw the first set, but I saw him hit many a routine forehand long. Makes me grateful I am not a Safin fan.
Elena Dementieva was another disappointment in Beijing, losing 5 and 3 to twelth seed, Radwanska. Despite playing brilliantly up until this stage of the tournament, Dementieva couldn’t make her serve count when it mattered. A very disappointing performance from a girl who had a chance to claim another title in Beijing.
Petrova struggled against the gutsy Peng, but eventually prevailed 6-2 in the third. Bartoli prevailed over a potentially exhausted Zvonareva, as did Kuznetsova, Soderling, Cilic and Bartoli over their opponents. A good win for Novak Djokovic, who didn’t play his best tennis 63 16 61 win over Verdasco, but he played well enough to give himself a very good shot to reclaim the number three ranking, (which he will if he wins his next match against Soderling). Djokovic still seems slightly too scared to go for his trademark down the line shot when it really matters, his first serve needs to go in the box more, and his forehand was spraying a touch much. Hopefully he can improve for his next match against the always tough Soderling.
Another exciting night of tennis… but not exactly the match ups I was hoping for… *tear*