Wimbledon '09: The Importance Of Being Ernests
Britain's boy of the tournament or the sizzling Scot, Andy Murray, is up against the most favourite of underdogs called Ernests Gulbis in his second round encounter on Centre Court.
Murray's presence was so felt this year that the excitingly named Henman Hill was unofficially changed to a pale Murray Mount by the media.
Murray was taken to task more than one expected by Robert Kendrick who served, dived and even took a set from the Scot during their first round encounter.
Kendrick is yet an other American player whose game relies mostly on big serve and huge forehand. He lost his first round against Feliciano Lopez, a serve and volley player, in straight sets in two tie-breakers at the Queens this year.
Considering Kendrick's decent recent performances, Murray did well to avert a fifth set scare and had the job done after being given a decent work out in his very first round.
The Fred Perry costume sashay-er has got his task cut out in the second round when he would be facing the girls heart throb from Lativa and a financially sound Ernests Gulbis.
A google search on the 20 year old Latvian guy will not fetch enough results for one to drool over his accomplishments or his pictures but he has generated enough hype already that little fine tuning in his game and composure should yield him big results on the big tournaments.
A huge serve and an explosive forehand moulded with a good drop shot describes Gulbis' eye-catching playing style in short. As and when one talks of this Latvian native, a complete player at a tender age who has earned the tag 'prodigious talent' were often reverberated in the tennis domain.
For him to defeat an in-form highly confident Murray, he has to exploit every trick up his sleeve, for he is playing the best returner of serve in Men's tennis and was termed by Federer as a great tactician.
Nervousness, and blowing things away quickly is Gulbis' weaknesses and with the raucous crowd sternly in favor of the Brit, Gulbis has to tone down his weakness and should maintain consistency on his strengths, if he has any plans to take the match to a decider.
He indeed had taken a set from Rafael Nadal in last year Wimbledon where the modest talking Nadal went on to describe had it not been for a rain break Gulbis would have run away with the match. Such would be the intensity in his game that on his day one would get to see a talent on display in it's rawest form, a trait often associated with Marat Safin in his early days.
The school boy looking guy beneath those cherubic eyes has a power game that can inflict some damage to the best of opponents on his day.
It is time for Gulbis to execute his beefy shots and enthrall the spectators displaying his spectacular array of strokes from his arsenal. The underdog tag should lose its sheen and what better place than Wimbledon to mark a defining victory to give the much needed fillip to his career.
Gulbis talks nice, looks nice and behaves nice. He is good mannered and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. There is hardly anything wrong so far in his fledgling career other than the absence of big match performance on the grandest of stages.
If he manages to pull an upset over Murray, on whom the entire nation's hopes were pinned like never before, for once Gulbis will have a dent on the word nice and will be on course to cause pandemonium instead of Andymonium at the Wimbledon Championships.
Title courtesy from Gulbis' fansite.
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