OPEN DE NICE COTE D'AZUR 2014
Gulbis Pursues Perfection In Nice; Plays Delbonis In Final
by ATP Staff|
Second seed Ernests Gulbis will look to extend his perfect record in ATP World Tour finals Saturday after powering into the championship match in Nice. The Latvian needed just 71 minutes to dismiss defending champion Albert Montanes 6-0, 6-3 for a place in the Open de Nice Cote d’Azur final, winning 26 of 27 first-serve points.
"Don’t tell me who I play because I haven’t checked the draw yet,” he told reporters. “The draw was out before my match, but I didn’t want to know because I wanted to concentrate on this match. One year I made the mistake… I played Sydney before the Australian Open and I lost to [Gilles] Simon in the semi-finals. I already had the state of mind to get ready for the Open. I didn’t want to make the same mistake today. If you win the tournament that’s great. You go to Paris and you have one day to hit.”
Reflecting on his victory over Montanes, Gulbis said, "He allowed me to play. I felt confident from the first rally on. I had good timing. The first set was one of the best sets I have played.”
Gulbis lifted his fifth ATP World Tour crown at the Open 13 (d. Tsonga) in February. He has a perfect 5-0 record in title matches.
In the final Gulbis will play this year’s Brasil Open champion and seventh seed Federico Delbonis, who took out fourth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4. Delbonis, who will contest his third title match, also advanced to last year's Hamburg final (l. to Fognini).
“It was a pretty good match," said Delbonis. "Gilles always fights and he showed it in the second set when he broke me. But I took control again.
“The final will be very similar to the match against [John] Isner. Ernests has a strong service. If I am focused, I will always have a chance.”
Klizan/Oswald Into Doubles Final
Martin Klizan and Philipp Oswald battled back to beat brothers Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski 3-6, 6-3, 10-2 for a place in the doubles final. Klizan finished runner-up with David Marrero at the 2013 Vegeta Croatia Open Umag, while Oswald captured his first team trophy at this year’s Brasil Open 2014 (w/Garcia-Lopez).