Ernests_Gulbis_02Took a peek at Gulbis vs. Nadal in Rome and Gulbis is dominating Rafa. And making it look easy. Just beating him on clay from the baseline, pulling him out wide and when the court is open he strikes the winner. Rafa looks like a league beneath Gulbis right now. The fifth game was interesting because Gulbis couldn't get a first serve in but he still won it comfortably. At 40-15 he tried a crazy forehand drop shot which fell way short, Gulbis raised his eyes at himself but carried on. Next point, he again ended it quickly with a what looked like an easy set up and backhand finish into the open court. This is a shocking performance so far. As far as I can recall we never saw Pistol Pete Sampras losing 5-love on grass to any qualifier (Yes, Gulbis had to qualify to get into the Rome maindraw) or anybody for that matter. Is Rafa half asleep? Does his knee ache (I don't see any hint of a limp)? Or is Gulbis the awakening titan, showing his inner ultra Safin today?Based on the year Gulbis is having since winning in Delray, I'm leaning on the latter.And I can...no this is not a joke...actually see Gulbis reaching the top 10 and winning a major title in 2013. (Photo by Henk Abbink.)