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Gulbis Triumphs In Dramatic Comeback

St. Petersburg, Russia

Gulbis© St. Petersburg OpenErnests Gulbis won his second title of the season.

Ernests Gulbis reeled off the final 11 games to complete a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 comeback win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the St. Petersburg Open final on Sunday. The sixth seed did not lose another game after trailing 3-6, 1-4, going on to claim his second ATP World Tour title of the season.

World No. 36 Gulbis won the fourth ATP World Tour title of his career and the first outside of the U.S.A. He earned 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $78,000 in prize money, which will propel him back into the Top 30. The Latvian’s career-high Emirates ATP Ranking was World No. 21 in February 2011.

“I feel great, it’s my second title of the season - the fourth one of the my career," said Gulbis. "I’ve been very consistent especially in finals; I’ve never lost in a final. I’m proud of that record. 

"I made my short term goals. I’m going to be seeded in Melbourne with these points, so that’s done. Now everything that comes, comes. I have nothing to defend so it’s all good.

“The main key why I’m not yet a top player is the consistency. Everybody knows I can play well for a tournament or a match and then I go downhill. I just need to bring this consistency to bigger tournaments, especially Grand Slams. Then I believe I am a Top 20 player for sure, and not so far from Top 10.”

The 25-year-old Gulbis claimed his 34th win of a career-best season as he added to the title he won as a qualifier in February at the Delray Beach Open (d. Roger-Vasselin). His other career titles came in Delray Beach in 2010 and two years ago in Los Angeles.

Gulbis dropped just five points in the third set as he defeated Garcia-Lopez in one hour and 45 minutes. It was their first meeting in three years and saw Gulbis move into a 2-1 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Garcia-Lopez had upset second seed Mikhail Youzhny in the second round en route to contesting his fifth ATP World Tour final (2-3 record). The Spaniard was looking to win his first title since 2010 in Bangkok, where he defeated Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals before topping Jarkko Nieminen in the final. 

“Despite losing today I played some unbelievable tennis all week, so I have to be happy overall with the week," said Garcia-Lopez. "Congratulations to Ernests, he deserved the title today.”

The 30-year-old Garcia-Lopez also lost out earlier this season in the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy final in Bucharest (l. to Rosol). He dropped to a 19-20 match record on the season.

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