|Date & Time||Tuesday June 3, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Ernests Gulbis
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Tomas Berdych and Ernests Gulbis will meet in the 2014 French Open quarterfinals.
Berdych has cruised through much of the tournament, which includes his most impressive victory with a three-set sweep over John Isner. This is only the second time in Berdych’s career that he’s reached at least the quarterfinals of the French Open. His best showing on this court was in 2010 when he reached the semifinals. At this stage of his career and at the age of 28, Berdych is improving drastically in Grand Slams and appears ready to take that next step similar to what we’ve recently experienced in Stanislas Wawrinka. Berdych has reached at least the quarterfinals in four of his last six Grand Slams.
Gulbis pulled out one of the tournaments biggest upsets with a five-set victory over Rodger Federer in the fourth round. Despite losing the first set in a tiebreak, Gulbis fought hard and reached the quarterfinals of the French Open for the second time in his career. It’s the only Grand Slam where he’s reached at least the quarterfinals. Gulbis is a young 25-year-old, who is an aggressive player and an excellent shot maker. Gulbis has a strong backhand, is always looking for the winner, but he also has a powerful serve much like his opponent in this match.
Berdych leads the all-time series 4-2, which includes a straight set victory this year in Rotterdam. The only time these two have on clay was back in the ATP Nice Draw in 2011, which Berdych also won in straight sets. However, Gulbis beat Berdhych in their 2012 Wimbledon match, which was the only other time the two have faced in a Grand Slam.
Berdych is likely going to be a heavy favorite and for good reason. Not only does he have the better skill set than Gulbis, but he’s also well more experienced and seems poised to have a breakout performance in a Grand Slam event.
I’ll take the Berdych ML, as I don’t see him losing against a by far less experienced player.