So here is a truth-fact I did not know - Ernests Gulbis reached his first ATP level semi final at St Petersburg in 2006, and, while 2008 can legitimately be considered his breakout year, what with his run to the quarters of Roland Garros, he did not reach another semi until last week.
And where is he this week? Why, monsieur, that would be - wait for it - the semis.
Now there is something to make we few lonely passengers on the Ernie bandwagon very excited indeed. Semis in back-to-back weeks? That is a solid result for just about anyone, but for Ernie, with his struggle to string two matches together last year, this is not just solid, but solid gold. Now if only he can take that one step further...
I would love for Ernie to win the title. I really would. But I think I would be satisfied with a run to the final. If he makes the final, he'll play either Ivo Karlovic or Mardy Fish, who are neither of them slouches, though I believe Ernie is capable of beating them both. But if he could just go that one step further, make that final...
Not that the semis isn't already a very satisfactory result. It totally is. But I really think Ernie has a great shot at beating Jarkko Nieminen, who really hasn't been that impressive for a long time now. Ernie was really quite impressive in his victory over Leonardo Mayer... and I can't help but remember how Kei Nishikori won this tournament out of nowhere a few years back.
Please let Ernie be this year's Kei, okay? O-Kei! Fear my punnage.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago