thanks for the report, especially the bits on Ernie Gulbis, of whom I'm a big fan (though this year, there's been hardly anything to be a fan of). He says he's been working hard with Pat Etcheberry and that the emphasis on physical workouts has caused his tennis to suffer short term but that long term it'll pay dividends.
If he plays like you said he did today he has no chance against Murray. Pity, I'd love to see the guy who pushed Nadal both here at Wimbledon and even more so at the Madrid masters, and the guy who played 1.5 sets of flawless tennis against Roddick at the USO.
Posted by peter
06/23/2009 at 06:23 PM
Great post.. focusing on the non show courts.. i like Gulbis against Murray
Posted by Syd
06/23/2009 at 06:26 PM
Beautiful report Steve,
The only time I've wished a piece on TW were longer. Keep it coming. :)
Posted by TripleF-FedFanForever(Sergeant Pepper Fed's Lonely Hearts Club!)
06/23/2009 at 06:30 PM
Having been to Riga many a times...I know of and spotted Gulbis (as the only Latvian regardless) waaaaaaaay back. I like him game a lot. Hope he reins in a bit and gets his head cleared. He can upset Murray - given how Robby K was taking it to him.
Posted by Pspace (Lestat de SW19)
06/23/2009 at 07:40 PM
Glatch knows how to do everything on a tennis court. But that's just the start. Before players can win, they must learn all the ways they can lose. The young American is learning those ways as we speak. Now she must learn to forget them.
Wow! Well said. Perhaps the same is applicable in a way to Gulbis.
Posted by jb... (i miss wimby live!!)
06/23/2009 at 08:47 PM
thanks for the reports on the 'outsiders' steve. but honestly, i didn't think last year i'd be seeing ernie in this write up. hopefully he can find his game again, because he'd be great fun mixing it up with the top 10.
alexa glatch... i shall keep my eye on her. if i can. hopefully she'll make it to some later rounds where i can catch her.
as for JJ, oh hail, if momo can pull it off, JJ FTW! (or at least a few more?)
Posted by alex
06/23/2009 at 09:02 PM
JJ is in a slump but i think if she can play well she can go far and test venus and maybe even win. i hope she does ill be cheering her on. Go JJ!!
Posted by Heidi
06/23/2009 at 09:13 PM
Steve, you are absolutely outdoing yourself on these. I love them. What better time than the first few rounds of a major for these character studies? Great mix here. Sad to see Gulbis slide; OTOH, if Hantuchova goes anywhere, that'd be an interesting piece to see from you! I'd forgotten she existed till someone remarked on her win on Pete's blog.
Posted by Master Ace
06/23/2009 at 09:34 PM
Thought Jelena changed coaches or will it be after Wimbledon. ESPN2 said that Chip Hopper will/is coaching her. If that is the case, that will be her 3rd coaching change since the beginning of 2008.
Posted by edna
06/23/2009 at 10:17 PM
Thanks for the "character studies". I'm glad Gulbis is one of them. No doubt he is one of the most interesting players on tour. Such blazing talent but nothing much to show for it, so far. He defies expectations, as in losing when he should win. But in spite of Gulbis' struggles I'm a huge fan because when his game is at its best, he is one hell of a player to watch. Thanks for the article!
Posted by Josh
06/23/2009 at 11:05 PM
Sweet piece Steve. Thanks.
Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war.
06/24/2009 at 02:11 AM
"even a seemingly routine win in a tennis match often involves moments of desperate, soul-clutching, I-can't-breathe panic moments that are conveniently forgotten after the last ball is hit, but which every player knows can return at any point."
Posted by DH
06/24/2009 at 03:47 AM
These articles are excellent!!! I felt like I was on court watching those matches. Its like you were born to write about tennis..lol..(excuse the drama)
Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President finally comes out of rehab and rejoices in Vamos Forever
06/24/2009 at 05:07 AM
Steve Thanks for your great report on those matches you certainly make us feel in the moment
I agree with Master Ace,JJ another coach well I hope for her sake she can find the missing component in her game.It has been lost for some time now.JJ was the no 1 player regardless of not winning a slam back then she was playing good consistant tennis.
Find of Mo Jo again JJ.
Earnie to me has the best techincal serve in the game,great groundies as well.Showed great promise then his game has certainly gone downhill.Parted with his coach.Now has hooked up with another.I believe at times he lacks the most important Self Belief and confidence,especially on big points.Today without it sorry you will get no where.
Again Earnie you have too much talent please dont waste it.
Posted by peter
06/24/2009 at 08:05 AM
I hate even getting a glance of womens tennis, sissy tennis.
Why do they have to bounce so much all the time between balls and their pigtail sways side to side, and, moan when they hit the ball? Proud of ya, good girl.. so needy, all these nervous tics to get prize money to buy a Pravda bag? They should use stretch pants more also instead of the fluttering skirts, they can lift those up and moan, in pornos.
Perhaps I should jump around while I check the balls and while I bounce the ball with the racquet before a serve, that would irritate the hell out of my opponent. JUMP AROUND.
Posted by solid35player
06/24/2009 at 09:18 AM
like most of us, she knows that even a seemingly routine win in a tennis match often involves moments of desperate, soul-clutching, I-can't-breathe panic moments
And one of the things I love most about tennis is that the above applies at the top of the game, and at the lowly league level where I dwell. How do you deal with the pressure, how do you respond to an opponent who just won't go away, how do you deal with the cruelty of the net cord?
Posted by Kristine
06/24/2009 at 01:35 PM
Wonderful write-ups. Would do the players good if they read this themselves.
Posted by Annie (Heavenly Creature will be missed like no other)
06/24/2009 at 04:53 PM
wow Steve. your write-up on Glatch was stellar. thanks.
Posted by Christopher
06/24/2009 at 09:03 PM
"He says he's been working hard with Pat Etcheberry and that the emphasis on physical workouts has caused his tennis to suffer short term but that long term it'll pay dividends."
Crazyone-- I hope so, but it didn't work out that way for Jankovic. For that matter, he almost drove Henin to total exhaustion.