Here’s some video of Roger Federer’s presser after losing in three sets to World No. 40 Ernests Gulbis in the second round of the Rome Masters on Tuesday. You know, in case you needed more proof that it actually happened.
According to the ATP, this is the first time since 2002 that Federer has lost before the quarter-finals in three straight ATP World Tour tournaments. Roger is obviously frustrated at his lack of traction post-Aussie Open, and is saying all the right things (and the same things he was saying at this time last year) about wanting to fight harder and win these non-Major tournaments.
“It sometimes takes a loss to wake up,” Roger says. Okay, Rog, but you’ve been hitting that snooze button a few too many times, lately! Time to rise and shine. And yes, that means winning that ATP 250 event in Estoril.
Oh, and winning the doubles this week with Yves wouldn’t hurt, either.
The first thing I thought when I heard that Roger lost to Gulbis was: “Gulbis? The guy that Davydenko beat with a broken wrist?” But of course that’s selling Ernie short. Since struggling with injury, a rumored misadventure with Swedish hookers and falling out of the top 100 last year, Gulbis seems ready (again?) to make good on his talent. He won his first title in February in Delray Beach and now this, the biggest of his five wins over Top 10 players.
But will this big victory translate to a great run in Rome? Even Gulbis isn’t sure. Like the rest of us, he knows he doesn’t have the steadiest of nerves. I love the way he described his mental state during the match on Tuesday: (via ATP):
“Well, actually I was shitting my pants – sorry for the language, but that’s the only way I can describe how I felt at 5-4 and at match point,” Gulbis said of his nerves. “I couldn’t get the serve in, I didn’t know what to do, I was shaking. A terrible feeling.”
Here’s some more from Ernie.
Gulbis will play either Volandri or Benneteau – the last guy to beat Roger in the second round of a Masters event – next.