HEAVY-HITTERS: Gulbis and Janowicz

by Jonas Eriksson

Yes, it’s a squirrel holding a bazooka. What else did you expect?

Guys like Gulbis and Janowicz should get a license for their racquet. They pack so much firepower in their shots you think the ball is going to go straight through the fence and out beyond the court. Today they both showed what destruction that power can bring.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that Gulbis had raced to a 4-0 lead against Rafael Nadal. Yes, the Rafa that is almost impossible to beat on clay.

But it was 4-0. And minutes later the first set was over 6-1.

The reason? Rafa couldn’t handle the Gulbis firepower and the Latvian “brat” as some call him (rich parents, cocky, tends to show a stinky attitude) won the first set 6-1.

Winning one set of Rafa is a feat. Winning a match against him is a completely different story.

But still the second set was very hard-fought. Rafa got the break, but Gulbis got it back. Although the set got the usual ending when you play Rafa, the opponent loses his focus and Rafa pounces. 7-5. 1 set all.

The second set was also tough but at 4-5 we saw the same scenario as 6-5 in the second set, Rafa just tightens the screws. You don’t get one damn point for free. And if you give him something short on his forehand he will make you pay for it.

So he broke and won the match 1-6 7-5 6-4.

Gulbis’ thoughts after the match: “I thought I was the better player in the match and also in the second and third sets but he is the champion,” said Gulbis. “I lost against him in Indian Wells when I also thought I played better than him. He is solid and he didn’t do anything special and I made mistakes and so he won.”

What do you say about that? The best player always wins? It’s not about getting the most winners, but winning the right points? A hundred clichés could explain why Rafa won. But Gulbis feels cheated and you have to understand him in a way. He played really way and managed to push Nadal to the brink of defeat.

Still, if he wants fans, maybe a little more humble attitude would work better. But what would we write about then? We writers/bloggers/tennis fans like our drama!

Man, this is a long post. I have to keep it brief around Janowicz victory against Gasquet. I just want to say I’m so impressed by the youngster’s composure. He needs to serve out the match in the final set at 5-4 and he plays four fantastic points, one involving a dropshot.

The guy’s crazy, but also crazy good.

I think I like the tennis world with some weirdos carrying tennis racquet bazookas around the court. I think I like it very much.

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