• Gulbis makes successful start in Barcelona

    4/22/13 5:24 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Gulbis makes successful start in Barcelona Qualifier Ernests Gulbis is through to the second round at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell after upending veteran Radek Stepanek. The Latvian moves on to face tournament seed Fernando Verdasco in the next round.

    World No. 53 Ernests Gulbis advanced to the second round after defeating the Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek in straight sets. The 24-year-old converted five of nine break points en route to a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory in an hour and 40 minutes.

    Stepanek struggled with his second serve, winning just eight of 25 points.

    Gulbis is through to take on 12th seed Fernando Verdasco in the next round.

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This should be an interesting encounter. Gulbis has been playing well so far this season and althogh Verdasco's game has fallen apart in recent times he still shows flashes of what he is capable of.

ed251137 , 4/23/13 8:27 AM

I think it may depend on whether or not Gulbis is going to settle down and play tennis. He will need to avoid the meltdowns and histrionics. Verdasco seems to be in free fall these days, but he does still show some flashes of his game on clay.

Nativenewyorker , 4/23/13 8:42 AM

At 24 Ernie is a getting a bit long in the tooth to play the enfant terrible of tennis.
It's frustrating to follow someone who persists in squandering so much natural talent.

ed251137 , 4/23/13 9:37 AM

I'm picking Ernie, I don't think even Verdasco has a clue where his game's gone........

rafaisthebest , 4/23/13 10:51 AM

I know you are right but there's hope he might make a match of it.

ed251137 , 4/23/13 11:39 AM

I have a feeling Verdasco is going to get demolished

Shireling , 4/23/13 12:22 PM

Gulbis rolled over verdasco 6-3 6-4. Gulbis needs to improve his level though, losing 7 games to verdasco is simply dreadful.

tj600 , 4/23/13 3:12 PM

I don't know what Verdasco is doing to himself, these two wrote the book about wasted talent

Shireling , 4/23/13 3:23 PM

Gulbis didn't play all that well.Verdasco made a lot of unforced errors.Gulbis needs to use the variety he once displayed.

stratocast51 , 4/23/13 7:00 PM

Gulbis actually played very well. Verdasco was not terrible.

RickyDimon , 4/23/13 7:10 PM

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