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Gulbis upbeat after Nadal loss

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Originally published on: 17/05/13 00:00

The Latvian, who is 19-7 this year, came within one game of upsetting Nadal at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia before succumbing to the defending champion 1-6 7-5 6-4 in two hours and 38 minutes.

“I thought I was the better player in the match and also in the second and third sets but he is the champion and well, I lost against him in Indian Wells when I also thought I played better than him,” said Gulbis after his third round loss. “He is solid and he didn't do anything special and I made mistakes and so he won.”

Nadal, who has reached the final in all seven events he has played since his return from injury, had a different outlook on the match.

“If you hit as hard as you can and hit every ball at 216 or 220 [kph] and then that means being the best player then perhaps he was the best player,” said the Spaniard. “For me the best player [tries to] find solutions against the other player and when I served for the second set and I lost and also in the third I still was fighting and I found solutions so the best player won.

“Gulbis is a fantastic player and he needs to pace himself a little more,” the world No.5 added. “He asked too many times to the umpire to look at the ball and I never do that and I don’t like this attitude on court but everyone is free and he needs to be a little cool and he is a great player.”  

Gulbis needed to reach at least the semi-final in Rome to assure himself of a seeding at Roland Garros but the Riga native admits he is still feeling confident ahead of the season’s second Slam.

“The wins give me confidence and I am confident going into Paris and I think I'm the toughest unseeded player and so yes, I am confident,” said Gulbis, who won the Delray Beach title earlier in the year.

Next up for Nadal is compatriot David Ferrer, who he holds an 18-4 record against.

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