He did it! Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay, etc etc! Joy and celebration and a ticker tape parade!
Ernests Gulbis won two matches in a row.
It was pretty much the crappest way to win ever - on a retirement - but still, I am refusing to be downhearted. He played very well to beat Juan Monaco - even an injured Juan Monaco - and backed up his upset of Stepanek nicely. I am very, very happy.
This was after coming up through qualies, and I'm inclined to think playing the qualies was a good thing for him. It meant he had to string a couple of wins together before the tournament even started, which, sure, weren't over the bestest players EVAH, but it gave him a bit of momentum. This is obviously not something he's going to be able to rely on forever, but for now, I think it served him well. And now he's finally in reasonably deep at a tournament! Hurrah!
You know what would reeeeeeeeeeeally make my day, Ernie? If you won the next round as well. Prove it's not a fluke and you're making a late charge. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?!
And in other news, Marat Safin is totally in the third round in Beijing after opening a can of whoop-ass on seventh seed Fernando Gonzalez. I know his heart isn't in the game any more, ra ra ra, but I would dearly love to see him do well in these last few tournaments of his. End it with a bang, Marat. Do it for me.
China Open (Beijing)
Rafael Nadal def. James Blake, 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-3
Robin Soderling def. Tommy Robredo, 6-3 6-3
Marat Safin def. Fernando Gonzalez, 6-3 6-4
Ivan Ljubicic def. Lukasz Kubot, 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-4
Nadia Petrova def. Serena Williams, 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5)
Vera Zvonareva def. Flavia Pennetta, 6-3 5-7 7-5
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 4-6 6-4 6-2
Marion Bartoli def. Zhang Shuai, 6-1 6-4
Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Richard Gasquet, 4-6 6-2 6-2
Mikhail Youzhny def. Gilles Simon, 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4
Tomas Berdych def. Andreas Beck, 6-4 6-1
Lleyton Hewitt def. Fabrice Santoro, 3-6 6-3 6-1
Edouard Roger-Vasselin def. Jurgen Melzer, 4-6 6-2 6-3
Ernests Gulbis def. Juan Monaco, 6-3 4-1 retired
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago