The Evolution of the Streaky Tennis Player

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The Evolution of the Streaky Tennis Player

Ernests Gulbis (pictured) is only the latest player to attract attention for the velocity with which he hits the ball, and to prompt confusion due to his lack of favorable results.

The 6'3" Latvian first drew notice in 2007 when he, at age 18, defeated Tim Henman in the first round of Roland Garros, and drubbed No. 8 seed Tommy Robredo to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open. He was described by British Davis Cup captain and former pro John Lloyd as "pure and utter talent."

The following year he reached the quarters in Paris, took a set off of Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, and another off of Andy Roddick at the U.S. Open. He then beat world No. 3 Novak Djokovic at Brisbane to start 2009.

Since then, his results have been stagnant, with second round losses in every major so far this year, no titles, and a 46-54 record on the ATP Tour. Gulbis will turn 21 in August, so there is time for him to turn his career around, but many pitfalls await the game's most powerful players, as tennis' history attests to.

Let's look at some of history's hardest hitting yet most erratic players, each of whom could've been the best of their time, and find out what derailed them on the way.

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