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Tennis: Gulbis adds Berdych to Federer scalp at French Open

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Ernests Gulbis followed up his shock French Open defeat of Roger Federer with a straight sets dismissal of sixth seed Tomas Berdych on Tuesday to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.

The 25-year-old Latvian, better known for his colourful behaviour and outspoken comments off the court than his achievements on it, stormed to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win.

The 18th seed will face second seed Novak Djokovic for a place in Sunday's final.

Tuesday's win made Gulbis the second most successful match winner of 2013 -- he now has 32 wins with just Rafael Nadal ahead of him on 38.

"This is very special, I am very happy to share it with you," said Gulbis.

"It was my best match of the tournament so far. Everything worked. Tomas was getting angry because I was hitting the lines all the time but, sorry, that's part of the sport."

Gulbis has a 1-4 record against Djokovic with whom he once trained when they were youngsters in Munch.

Their first meeting was in the French Open quarter-finals in 2008 when Djokovic won in straight sets, the pair's only previous clash on clay.

Berdych admitted he had played probably his worst match of the two weeks in Paris on Tuesday.

"He was solid today, he didn't have to bring anything special. I was not in the shape to cause him any damage," said Berdych.

"The way I was playing there was no way I could win. It was pretty bad. It was my fifth match in two weeks. You need to be ready for the whole two weeks and if you have the kind of day I had today you have no chance to get a good result."

Gulbis went into Tuesday's meeting with the 2010 semi-finalist trailing the Czech 4-2 in career matches.

But he had already defeated the big Czech in straight sets in the first round at Wimbledon two years ago.

As he had done in his five-set triumph against Federer, Gulbis unleashed a free-swinging, big-serving barrage and after racing into a 4-0 lead in the first set, he never looked back.

Breaks in the first and fifth games of the second set against a wilting Berdych put him firmly in control.

One more break in the first game of the third set was enough for Gulbis.

Berdych saved a match point with an ace in the ninth game but Gulbis's 10th ace of the match took him to two further match points in the next.

And the victory was his when Berdych nettted a return.

dj/gnf

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140603/tennis-gulbis-adds-berdych-federer-scalp-at-french-open