Worth the read, at least Ernests wants to find solution.
Straight Sets - Tennis Blog of The New York Times
August 26, 2013, 11:02 pm
Gulbis, With a Favorable Draw, Cannot Capitalize
By BEN ROTHENBERG
Ernests Gulbis was one of the more surprising upset losses on Day 1 at the United States Open, falling to 88th-ranked Andreas Haider-Maurer, 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
Asked what his thoughts on the match were, Gulbis was typically blunt.
“Very bad thoughts,” he said. “Very bad match. Very bad loss. Not much to say.”
Gulbis came into the tournament off a strong week of training, having not lost a practice set against a roster of skilled practice partners which included Richard Gasquet, Julien Benneteau, and Jeremy Chardy.
“I felt really, really good, really confident, everything was really great,” Gulbis said of his mind-set coming into the tournament. “Physically I felt great.”
He added: “When I came into the match, maybe I got over nervous. Because today in the morning, I woke up and I felt tight. I felt nervous in the warm-up and in the morning I felt tight, couldn’t relax. And when you’re so tight you lose a lot of energy on court. So after two sets I was already exhausted. I was sweating more than usual, everything was — I just tight, I was uptight.”
Gulbis realized the opportunity that had gotten away from him.
“Maybe that I really felt that this tournament I could do well,” he said. “I saw the draw, I liked at the draw, and I could go far. I didn’t put on myself pressure, nobody put on me pressure.”
The 30th-seeded Gulbis was in the wide-open third-quarter of the main draw, which six of the top contenders to win the tournament — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martín del Potro and Roger Federer. The high seeds in the third quarter are No. 4 David Ferrer and No. 8 Gasquet, the latter of whom has not advanced to a Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2007.
Though some of the lower seeds in the quarter of the draw have had strong summers — No. 10 Milos Raonic, No. 14 Jerzy Janowicz and No. 32 Dmitry Tursunov — 9 of 17 players in the quarter were from the qualifying draw.
While many players say they do not like to look at the draw and preach by the cliché “one match at a time,” Gulbis said he was lured in by the prospect of seeing himself in boldface.
“I was seeded for the first time here, so I wanted to see how the draw looks with my name in bigger letters,” he said with a smile.
Gulbis earned that seed in large part because of his play at the beginning of the year, putting together a 13-match winning streak between February and March. Though his success has not been as consistent since, Gulbis insisted his play had not dipped, just his ability to summon it on the important occasions.
“Honestly I’ve played top tennis,” he said. “It’s just I need to play top tennis in matches. In practice it’s really I play, everything is going my way. I couldn’t prepare better. Honestly, I have no idea what — I have an idea of what happened but I need to find some solutions on how to deal with it, because it’s not good.”
In the search for solutions, it was suggested that maybe Gulbis could consult his coach or a sports psychologist.
“I’ll talk to my coach,” he said. “Psychologist? No. You can go to a psychologist. I don’t need a psychologist.”