Current Standing: 34th
My MVP for the Week: Ernests Gulbis (Latvia) with $19,180, losing in the semifinals at Medibank International Sydney to Gilles Simon (France) in straight sets
Photo via Any Given Surface
My introduction to Ernests Gulbis came a few years back in Montreal. We went up for the free passes for the last day of qualifying for the Rogers Cup in 2007. We caught Gulbis's match on one of the outer courts. The first thing you notice is his height. 6'3" is a lot more impressive in real life than it is on television. Then there was his serve, quite a thing when it's coming right at your head! I hadn't even heard of him before that day but he's carved out a nice little career since.
Melbourne looms: the first big payday. Time to play the big boys. I'm going to be boring and pick the top 5: Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Soderling and Murray, all five strong on hard courts. For what it's worth, the Djoker is my pick to win.