What about that win, huh?
The whole time my heart was in my throat. As I was there, I will share some little things that I have observed:
I was very lucky to have sat right behind Team Gulbis (Papa, Brother, Coach, a man who looked like Ernie who may be an uncle, and an elderly man). His brother is such a staunch supporter; he has his eyes on Ernie almost the entire time, even during changeovers. And I thought only his fans call him "Ernie" but his brother calls him Ernie too! Whenever Ernie hits a winner, Brother says "Love it!" or "Beautiful!" but when he cheers Ernie on, he almost always says, "Davai!" and some other Latvian words. Papa prefers "Bravo!" and a very emphatic "C'mon!" but he is more sparing with his cheering.
During the 1st two sets, I thought that Ernie was not reading Haas' serves well because he missed quite a few of them. Also, he is still making those ridiculously long shots where the balls go a meter past the baseline, which I thought he would have controlled by now. I watched this very closely and noticed that he is often off-balanced when he makes those shots for he is running while hitting at the same time, and it was either a case of not having much control of his body or of the power he puts on his shots and he sometimes lets out a frustrated howl when this happens. When he controls this part of this game, he will win many more matches for sure. Nevertheless, he played with more composure and maturity. He hardly showed emotion. It was Haas who actually lost his cool, as during the 4th set he started to curse. Also -and I found this very interesting- during the 7th game of the 4th set, when Haas saved some break points and was poised to make it a tie, Brother said something in Latvian and Ernie gave him a quick thumbs up as if to say: "Don't worry, I got this." I thought it was just great that Ernie was composed and confident even when he was still down a set.
As for the crowd, there was a small, and as Courthey said, very loud group of supporters who may have been of Latvian origin. They certainly gave Ernie a boost and kind of got some of the crowd behind Ernie too, which was more pro-Haas than pro-Gulbis. During the final two games of the 5th set, Haas started cramping and I thought that he would ask for a medical timeout but he didn't. After that, it was Ernie all the way.
So, on to Friday and I will be there again to cheer him on. I took some pictures today and will try to figure out how to upload them but I must apologize in advance because I don't have a very good camera and I take crappy pictures.