LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) - Former world number 10 Ernests Gulbis became the first qualifier to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since Brian Baker in 2012 when he upset fourth seed Alexander Zverev 7-6(2) 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-0 on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Latvian, a one-time training partner of Zverev’s brother Mischa, handed the young German a lesson in perseverance and solid shot-making to reach the fourth round for the first time after 11 attempts.
“I hope I have another four to five years in me so you will still see me around,” said Gulbis, who had only won one tour level match all year — in the first round of the French Open — and was ranked 138 after struggling with injuries.
“Not a lot of players qualify for Paris and Wimbledon,” added Gulbis, who reached his highest ranking of 10 in 2014, by way of explanation for his form in London.
Zverev, who won a five setter against American Taylor Fritz from 2-1 down in the previous round, failed to improve on his best at Wimbledon last year when he also went out in the third round.
The 21-year-old German had the better of an even opening set that went with serve but Gulbis turned the tables in the tiebreak to take it 7-2.
Zverev came back in the next two sets but when it looked like Gulbis would not last the pace, he broke to go 4-2 up in the fourth and took the wind out of his opponent’s sails.
Gulbis won the final set to love in a denouement reminiscent of Zverev’s five set defeat by South Korean Hyeon Chung in the third round of the Australian Open where he also suffered a fifth-set bagel. (Reporting by Rex Gowar Editing by Christian Radnedge)