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Gulbis Rates His Performance: A-

Rome, Italy

Gulbis© Getty ImagesErnests Gulbis will head to Roland Garros feeling confident.

A day after saying he needed to bring his ‘A-Game’ to defeat Rafael Nadal at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the effervescent Ernests Gulbis nearly did just that, falling to the Spaniard in a performance he rated an “A minus”.

For the second time this season, Gulbis had Nadal on the ropes, but ultimately went down. On Thursday, Gulbis came out firing to race to a one-set lead, before defending champion Nadal staged a comeback to win their third-round match 1-6, 7-5, 6-4. Though he was on the losing end, Gulbis believes the outcome was decided on his racquet.

“I thought I was the better player in the match and also in the second and third sets but he is the champion,” said Gulbis. “I lost against him in Indian Wells when I also thought I played better than him. He comes up with very solid play on the important points. He didn't do anything special. I made the mistakes but you have to beat the guy. He doesn't give away anything for free.”

Watch Gulbis Interview

Gulbis will now prepare for Roland Garros, where he is a former quarter-finalist. The 24 year old asserted himself as the floater to watch out for, knowing he will be unseeded when the draw comes out in Paris, stating, “I am confident going into Paris and I think I'm the toughest unseeded player.”

The Latvian began the year ranked No. 136 in the Emirates ATP Rankings but has jumped 90 spots. As a qualifier, Gulbis triumphed in Delray Beach (d. Roger-Vasselin) for his third ATP World Tour title and reached the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where his run came to an end at the hands of eventual titlist Nadal.

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