World No. 2 Novak Djokovic is two match wins away from completing his career Grand Slam ambitions, but will need to get past the resurgent Latvian Ernests Gulbis to secure a spot in the final. This contest is certainly not the semi-final that many fans and pundits alike were expecting, yet it undoubtedly a compelling match-up with high stakes for both athletes involved. Check out the Djokovic vs Gulbis Head to Head matches.
While some expected a tighter contest between Canadian No. 1 Milos Raonic and Novak Djokovic, the Serb was simply too overwhelming for Raonic on this particular day, as he closed out the match in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-4. Djokovic has only dropped one set this week in Paris, and that took place in the third round against Marin Cilic.
The former world No. 1 will next encounter Ernests Gulbis, whom he has met on four previous occasions on the tour.
“He’s been playing really well,” Djokovic said of Gulbis. “He’s confident. But again, I like my chances because I have had now couple of great weeks on the clay courts from Rome to now last ten days here in Roland Garros.”
- Novak Djokovic is two matches away from becoming the eighth man in tennis history to complete a career Grand Slam.
- Djokovic will now regain the No. 1 ranking unless Rafael Nadal wins his ninth title this week in Paris.
- Djokovic is on a 10-match winning streak
World No. 17 Ernests Gulbis has certainly taken part in a meteoric rise in 2014. Once out of the Top 100 in 2012, Gulbis moved himself up from the Top 50 and into the Top 20 this year, and has no intention of stopping there. His most recent win came in the form of a dominant victory over Czech No. 1 Tomas Berdych, who is 11 places higher than him in the rankings.
Gulbis hit 10 aces, 31 winners with only 17 unforced errors, to eventually earn the 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win in 1 hour and 59 minutes.
This marks the sixth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, and the second time at the French Open. Their very first meeting took place on that court; Djokovic won that encounter 7-5, 7-6(3), 7-5. Since then Novak earned three hard court victories against Gulbis, but has not faced him in over three years. The circumstances are certainly different this time around and it will be interesting to see how much resistance Gulbis can offer the Serb on this particular occasion.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Four Sets