While fan attention is being directed at the French Open, which begins in a few days, a compelling final in Nice is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon between Ernests Gulbis and Federico Delbonis. This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, which only ads to the intrigue.
Latvian no. 1 Ernests Gulbis cruised into the final in 70 minutes, as he defeated Albert Montanes 6-0, 6-3 to reach his sixth career final. Prior to that he had defeated Dmitry Tursunov and Martin Klizan in Nice, which nicely sets up his confidence for his upcoming fortnight in Paris.
“He allowed me to play. I felt confident from the first rally on. I had good timing. The first set was one of the best sets I have played.”
- Gulbis is 5-0 in ATP World Tour Finals.
Federico Delbonis is the unexpected addition to the Cote d’Azur final tomorrow, as he upset local favourite Gilles Simon in the semi-finals to book his spot on Saturday afternoon. The Argentine’s win took him 70 minutes, as he comfortably broke his opponent twice in each set to wrap up the win 6-2, 6-4. Earlier, Delbonis had upset John Isner, which makes him a tough obstacle for Gulbis on Saturday.
“It was a pretty good match,” said Delbonis. “Gilles always fights and he showed it in the second set when he broke me. But I took control again. The final will be very similar to the match against [John] Isner. Ernests has a strong service. If I am focused, I will always have a chance.”
This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional circuit. Experience will allow Gulbis the mantle of odds on favourite in this final, but the Argentine’s upset over Gilles Simon teaches us that he should not be underestimated. It will be interesting to see if he is strong enough to overcome Gulbis’ service games and maintain his own.
Prediction: Ernests Gulbis in Three Sets