Tennis

Gulbis wins LA title

Ernests Gulbis ended the American dream of Mardy Fish as he defeated the top-seed 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Farmers Classic.

The victory in two and three-quarter hours meant the second trophy from as many finals for Gulbis, 22, who once stood on the cusp of the elite but has slipped through injury to his current 84th on the ATP.

The title was the first for the Latvian since February 2010, when he won his debut final at Delray Beach, Florida.

“I hope I can maintain the game I’m playing now,” said Gulbis.

Fish won the opening set on a break of his Latvian opponent when Gulbis double-faulted in the last game. But the American soon found himself in a battle with the outsider who eliminated 2009 US Open champion Juan Del Potro in the quarterfinals at UCLA.

Gulbis broke for a 4-3 lead in the second set, which he consolidated by winning on his third set point.

The final set was a runaway for Gulbis, with two breaks of Fish for a 5-1 lead. But the unseeded player had his troubles in closing out the match.

Gulbis succumbed to nerves as he attempted to wrap things up leading 2-5, with Fish breaking to close to 3-5. But Gulbis would not be denied, securing his first match point two games later and sending over a forehand winner to claim victory with nine aces and 40 winners.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 8:44:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/gulbis-wins-la-title/article2312683.ece

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