(June 25, 2014) WIMBLEDON – The man who upset Roger Federer at Wimbledon in the second round last year, Sergiy Stakhovsky, upset No. 12 seed Ernest Gulbis on Wednesday 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
The Ukranian, ranked No. 90 in the world consistently used a serve-and-volley strategy which was successful against his Latvian opponent. He was 32 for 45 at the net.
Asked to compare this match versus Federer’s last year, Stakhovsky said, ”No, not even close. Roger and Ernests on grass is like Rafa and me on clay.”
There is no denying that the Ukranian loves the surface, as it’s very suited to his game. “The surface is fast, he said. It’s no bounce. It’s speedy. It’s exactly what I need.
“So pretty much I have the chance of finishing that volley if I have it.
“On other surfaces, not so easy.”
Gulbis gave his opponent credit: “Today he served well in the match. Nothing was working from my side. Two of my biggest weapons, my serve and return, wasn’t there.
“Especially the serve. I couldn’t get any free points from my serve. There is different reasons because of that. I don’t want to get into details because of that.
“Sergiy, a lot of credit to him. That’s why he beat Roger last year. That’s why he beat Roger last year on grass. The guy has a good game plan. He comes in; he chips the ball; he takes out the pace.
“I just wasn’t hitting the ball well enough today.”
In his news conference, Gulbis complained about the balls being used at Wimbledon make it difficult get much spin.
In response to this, Stakhovsky said: “Also it’s hard hitting them even, but he’s still serving 135 miles.
“It’s never easy playing Ernests because he’s the kind of personality you don’t know when he’s serious on court and when he’s laughing.
“I was trying not to get too much in conversation with him, but it’s hard not to.”
“So next year maybe I’m going to do something different,” Gulbis said. “Maybe play a little bit more matches on grass. I played just one really bad match, yeah, against a tough opponent, De Schepper, in Queen’s. There was no rhythm at all.
“Then I played two exhibition matches. It’s not enough. I need more matches on grass.
“I wasn’t consistent enough. I don’t have a consistent game yet on grass. I need to work on that.”
Karen Pestaina at Wimbledon