Breakin’ the Curse
For a long time now I thought poor old Ernie Gulbis was cursed to get top seeds second round. Example? Wimbledon and Madrid – Rafa, US Open – Roddick, St Petersburg – Murray, and when I saw the draws for Brisbane International this week, I had to sit back and take a moment to wonder why the draw gods are so unkind to him. But upcomers are always defined by who they take down, and what a time for Gulbis to take down Novak Djokovic, Mr. World-No-2-in-waiting, Australian Open defending champion and the top seed here at Brisbane.
It’ll be interesting to see if Djokovic will ask for wild card into Sydney now. He clearly needs the match practice. I don’t want to down talk the importance of Gulbis’s win, but Djokovic looked like he was still left in the tail end of 2008 today, the serve was just not there, the shot selection dubious under pressure, much of his game relies on finding the lines on his groundstrokes, and unfortunately, he just couldn’t find the range on his shots this match. (and seriously, the failed drop shots… never again Nole, and NOT on break point. What sort of brain cramp is that?). Maybe it’s just an adjustment issue, coming back from an 8 week layoff, let’s hope so, because tennis is more interesting when the top 4 are all in good form.
Great tennis so far this week, me thinks it’s time for the weekly wrap-ups to start again.
EDIT// I was right, Djokovic did ask for a wild card into Sydney. If I remember correctly, Tsonga is also heading to Sydney after Brisbane, so Djokovic better get used to his new racquets fast, because bee stings are nasty.
It’s really disappointing that Gulbis didn’t follow up his victory over Djokovic with another win. He lost to Mathieu today…..I know everyone is tipping him off for a breakthrough season.. but he still needs to work on his nerves, and his consistency before that happens…
Well it was a bit of a strange win for Gulbis, because in some of his losses to Nadal, Roddick and Djokovic last year he played much better, so it was a case of Djokovic playing really badly as opposed to Gulbis outclassing the Djoker. But yes you’re right, he needs to work on his consistency, more importantly his movement to really have a breakthrough season. And like Murray, it could take him most of the year for everything to click at last.