An opening round match-up between Latvian No. 1 Ernests Gulbis and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot is scheduled to take place in the opening round of the 2014 French Open. This marks the second time they clash on the tour this season, and the third time overall. Gulbis leads the overall head-to-head series 2-0 and will be looking to maintain that streak against his Polish adversary.
Gulbis is coming off his sixth ATP World Tour title when he defeated Federico Delbonis in the Nice Open final. It was a strong showing overall from Gulbis, who cruised into the final in 70 minutes, as he defeated Albert Montanes 6-0, 6-3 to reach the 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.
Before arriving in Nice, Gulbis was coming off a third round exit in Rome to Spain’s David Ferrer. He had also reached the quarter-finals in Madrid, where he also lost to Ferrer, and the semi-finals in Barcelona, where he lost to Kei Nishikori.
Kubot’s highlight of the season so far was in Madrid, where he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Roberto Bautista Agut. Prior to that he had lost in both his openers in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and he even lost in the opening round in Rome, which emphasizes his inconsistency on the tour.
This marks the third time these two competitors meet on the ATP World Tour and the second time so far this season. Their earlier encounter took place in Doha, where Gulbis earned the 6-2 4-6 6-3 win. He will be looking for a similar performance in Paris, even though this will be their first meeting on clay.
Prediction: Ernests Gulbis in Straight Sets