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Ernests Gulbis second round

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Latvian Ernests Gulbis faces the media following his second round win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Q.  That was not the most satisfactory way to win in terms of him having to quit.  Give us your impression of how it was going to that point.  Do you feel you were getting back in the game anyway?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  Did you see the match?

Q.  Yes.
ERNESTS GULBIS:  Then I think you also know the answer.  I think first two sets were very high level of tennis.  I like the way I played.  I think that he played also very well.  We had a lot of long, physical rallies.
I think that if I wouldn't hold on to my service game in the second set when it was 3 2 for him   I had two break points down and I needed to challenge one point   if I would be broken then, when it's two sets to love, you know, I think that there is not anymore so big problems.
But when it's one set all, you're losing the third set, of course you know there is a problem.  Mentally you break down, you know.  I saw it in the way he moved.  For sure he had a problem to the move in the third set, and I had a feeling that maybe he's going to retire.
I just kept pushing, and maybe that's why I was getting a little bit more nervous serving for the third set.  It was tough points, because still even on one leg he has very good talented hands.  He can go for a couple shots, make couple winners.
On grass, it's tough.

Q.  Obviously your match was one of the seven retirements or walkovers that happened today.  Your match was further along.  But has there been any weird atmosphere, vibe, among all the players about the carnage that's happened today, because a lot of big names are going down hurt?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I don't feel any vibe between players because I don't talk much in the locker room.

Q.  Yeah.
ERNESTS GULBIS:  (Smiling.)  But if you want to analyze, dig deeper.  Don't take this tournament and don't analyze this tournament.
Analyze the whole season, the whole past couple years.  Look what people are doing wrong, what people are doing right.  It's not just one tournament.
Of course now, I don't know, press and the tournament opens their eyes suddenly because seven players are out in the second round.  They retire.
But why these things need to happen for people to open their eyes?

Q.  What do you think people aren't seeing?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  They are seeing, but the schedule is really tough.  The schedule is tough.
You know, people also don't understand that five set matches is something very special.  Mentally, physically, it takes a lot out of you.
Even for me.  I didn't play so many five set matches, but when I played against Roger Vasselin, I played three sets, and you need to be completely concentrated every point for three hours.
After that you have incredible headache, you're completely exhausted, and you need this one day to recover.  But if you play like this and you play far in the tournaments, as Victoria Azarenka does, as Rafa Nadal does, as somebody else does, it's tough to recover.
You need time to recover.  Mentally, physically, every time.  You need more time in between.

Q.  You're talking about mental recovery.  Like for example, Nadal playing the French seven matches in a row and winning all seven but long matches, and the two week turnaround you think is not enough to get ready for another Grand Slam event?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  To get ready for a Grand Slam you need play a tournament before it on the same surface.
I'm not 100% sure, but I think every year he played Queen's.  He played a tournament before.  This year he decided not to play.  For sure he was extra tired and decided not to play.
That was the key why he lost in the first round.  He didn't have the opportunity to prepare as, let's say, we did.  I went to Halle.  I didn't play great there, but at least I had two matches on grass.

Q.  What's the solution then?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I don't know what's the solution then.  I didn't think about it right now.  You have to make the season shorter overall.  In this period of time, I need to think about it a little bit.

Q.  There has been a bunch of talk about possibly having men switch to   because of the physical nature of the game   best of three for slams at least maybe for the first week of slams.  How would you...
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I wouldn't like it, because this is the difference.  This is difference of the top players.  You have to be physically fit.  Grand Slam is Grand Slam.  You don't need easy way to win it.
If you can't make it, you can't make it.  Sorry.  Stay at home and do something else.  Grand Slam should be five sets, blood, fight five sets all the way until the end, until somebody is dead.

Q.  No fifth set breaker, too?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I think there should be.  To go on forever, it's already a little bit unhuman.  But I think a breaker in the fifth.
But still, that's part of the game, part of what people love about men's tennis.  I think you shouldn't change it.

Q.  When we talked in Halle, you mentioned last year you felt like you should have done more with your draw at this tournament.  Now you're in a section of the draw that has opened up again.  Do you see this is as an opportunity you have to take?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  Of course.

Q.  When the draw opens up, does that put extra pressure on you?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  No.  I learned through the years.  I learned to go step by step.  I don't even know if I win Verdasco who's further on.  I didn't watch it.  Maybe I'll watch it; maybe I won't.  I'll just go step by step.  This comes with maturing, a little bit of experience.

Q.  You have some supporters?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I don't know.  I didn't count.

Q.  Any?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  My family is here.  Some of my friends are here.

Q.  A lot of players   Wozniacki, Sharapova, after they both lost and fell several times in their losses, have been criticizing the surface.  Saying it's too slippery or different than other years or maybe more like it was during the Olympics than Wimbledon last year.  Just different grass.  Have you felt anything different out there in your two matches?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I been practicing Aorangi.  I been practicing 45 minutes a day.  You know, I been playing last year two matches on grass.
I'm not the best guy to say and compare how was it last year or Centre Court or two years ago on center court, how the court changes.  I don't know.

Q.  How about here to Halle, any difference?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  Here is much better courts than in Halle.  Much better quality, much better grass.
But if it's more slippery than last year, I don't know.  Maybe Maria and Caroline knows more about this.

Q.  Have you ever thought about winning Grand Slam?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  Come on.

Q.  This year.
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I thought about it, yes.  (Laughter.)

Q.  You have chance?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  Who knows?

Q.  Anything else you want to say?  Anything else you have on your mind?  You want to thank somebody?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I want to thank you for couple great questions.




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