Ernest Gulbis produced some superb tennis in the first round of this year’s Wimbledon Championships, knocking out 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych 7-6 (5) 7-6 (4) 7-6 (4).
There were no break point opportunities in the first set and it was Gulbis who managed to secure the only mini break of the tiebreak to seal the set.
Gulbis was the first one to break in the third game of the second set, but the Czech fought right back and with both players holding serves, the London audience were going to witness another ‘breaker’. Once again, it was the Latvian who got the upper hand and the possibility of the biggest upset of the day was becoming more and more realistic.
Despite Berdych averting three matchpoints when serving to stay in the match at 4-5 in set three, it didn’t change anything on the end result.
The Latvian, who is ranked 87 in the world, was tipped by many tennis experts as a next ‘big thing’. But he has been struggling with his consistency and great performances were often followed by a poor display.
However, today’s match will surely give him the confidence he needs to step up his game and climb up the rankings.
In other first round matches, Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan defeated 23rd seed Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-7 (2) 6-4 3-6 6-3 8-6, 26th seed Russian Mikhail Youzhny eliminated American Donald Young 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3, Slovak Martin Klizan won a five set battle against Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, prevailing 7-5 3-6 7-6 (6) 1-6 11-9 and Germany’s Benjamin Becker ousted American James Blake 6-7 (4) 7-5 6-0 6-4.