That's frankly a really bad sign. I get that the field would be weak due to the Olympics but Gulbis didn't make the Olympics.
The only thing I can think of is that Gulbis had a chance of making the Olympics if a player withdrew from a weak nation. On the ladies side, Kanepi from otherwise unrepresented Estonia withdrew so the ITF picked Duque-Marino over higher ranked players just because Colombia wasn't represented on the ladies side. Stakhovsky got an ITF pick and he was only two spots ahead of Gulbis at the deadline.
Since the only withdrawals on the men's side came from Spain and France, that possibility never came into play.
You must be right and Ernests was still holding out hope for the Olympics. I remember after he beat Murray in that exho before RG, he told the interviewer he would love to play in London but would need a wildcard. Looks like he was pretty damn close if Stakhovsky was given the spot. Disappointing...
Even without Ernests
, this could still potentially be a fun tournament, though. Paire and Baker have a real shot at their first title and it would be a great final if they both make it that far, with Benoit seeking revenge after losing to Brian at Wimbledon.