Gulbis serves volley at 'illusions of problems'

Ernests Gulbis (File)
Ernests Gulbis (File)

London - According to The Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want -- and tennis free spirit Ernests Gulbis is singing from the same song book.

The Latvian player said most problems in life were illusory -- and learning to deal with setbacks early on is the key to winning in the end.

Gulbis, who has had more than his fair share of troubles and controversies during his career on the tennis circuit, is off to do some healing after crashing out of Wimbledon in the first round on Monday.

But he will not be moping around feeling sorry for himself.

"It's like everything in life. When you grow up you understand that you cannot always get everything you want," the 30-year-old told AFP.

"If your parents spoil you, then that's the way it's going to be for the next couple of years. Then you grow up and you realise you might not get the job you want, you might not earn as much as you want.

"All these problems are not really problems. They are illusions of problems.

"I'm healthy. I'm happy. It's just a match. It's OK. If you have any other attitude you're going to dig a mental hole for yourself that you are not going to get out of."

Gulbis, the son of a wealthy investment banker and an actress mother, has never been far from the headlines in his colourful career.

He said players sometimes need to let off steam to turn a page on mid-match frustration.

"I'm not making show for spectators, ever. Whatever comes out comes out," he said.

"When I break a racquet, it's not that I'm extremely annoyed about a mistake. You just let some energy out. It's a tool. It's better just to have a switch inside your head but players tend to grab tools from the outside."

The board running men's tennis is in currently in turmoil, but there is no Gulbis master-plan to fix the sport's problems.

"I don't have a solution," he said.

"You cannot build a house on broken foundations.

"Players want to have more money. Tournaments want to save money.

"This is a conflict of interests."

The bearded right-hander, who is married to former model Tamara Kopaleyshvili, owns one of the sport's most destructive forehands.

The 2014 French Open semi-finalist hit a career-high ranking of 10 that year.

But he is now the world number 90 and tumbled out of Wimbledon in a 6-1, 7-6 (14/12), 6-2 defeat to Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, missing out on a potential third round clash with world number one Novak Djokovic.

Stripping away the illusion of problems, Gulbis made a simple diagnosis.

"It was not a good performance at all," he said.

"Nothing was happening, nothing was working, I haven't been winning any matches and I need to get back to the practice court -- and that's it. End of story."

Wimbledon results on Monday (x denotes seeding):


1st round

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-3, 7-5, 6-3

Denis Kudla (USA) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-4, 6-1, 6-3

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 6-1, 7-6 (14/12), 6-2

Hubert Hurkacz (POL) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB x32) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Félix Auger-Aliassime (CAN x19) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3

Daniil Medvedev (RUS x11) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2)

Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Pablo Carreño-Busta (ESP) 7-6 (7/2), 7-5, 6-2

Jérémy Chardy (FRA) bt Martin Kližan (SVK) 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4

Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Kamil Majchrzak (POL) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Andrea Arnaboldi (ITA) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x7) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3

Kevin Anderson (RSA x4) bt Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Nicolás Jarry (CHI) 6-3, 6-7 (8/10), 6-1, 6-2

Guido Pella (ARG x26) bt Marius Copil (ROU) 7-6 (13/11), 5-7, 6-3, 6-4

Stan Wawrinka (SUI x22) bt Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Reilly Opelka (USA) bt Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1

Robin Haase (NED) bt Jozef Kovalík (SVK) 6-1, 6-3, 6-1

Milos Raonic (CAN x15) bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-2

Karen Khachanov (RUS x10) bt Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 4-6, 7-5

Feliciano Lopez (ESP) bt Marcos Giron (USA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-4

Steve Darcis (BEL) bt Mischa Zverev (GER) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x23) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-3, 6-2, 6-3

Benoît Paire (FRA x28) bt Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)

Pablo Cuevas (URU) bt Damir Džumhur (BIH) 4-6, 7-6 (10/8), 2-6, 6-4, 6-2

Jirí Veselý (CZE) bt Alexander Zverev (GER x6) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5


1st round

Elina Svitolina (UKR x8) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 7-5, 6-0

Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) bt Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 6-4, 6-4

Marie Bouzkova (CZE) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 6-3, 6-3

Maria Sakkari (GRE x31) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Petra Martic (CRO x24) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Anastasia Potapova (RUS) bt Jil Teichmann (SUI) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1

Danielle Collins (USA) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 6-3, 7-5

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x12) bt Kristie Ahn (USA) 6-3, 6-4

Madison Brengle (USA) bt Markéta Vondroušová (CZE x16) 6-4, 6-4

Karolína Muchová (CZE) bt Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 7-5, 6-2

Heather Watson (GBR) bt Caty McNally (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-2

Anett Kontaveit (EST x20) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-0, 3-6, 6-4

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) bt Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) 6-1, 6-3

Monica Puig (PUR) bt Anna Karolína Schmiedlová (SVK) 5-7, 6-4, 7-5

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x3) bt Zhu Lin (CHN) 6-2, 7-6 (7/4)

Simona Halep (ROM x7) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-4, 7-5

Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) bt Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-4, 6-4

Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) bt Darya Kasatkina (RUS x29) 6-3, 6-1

Madison Keys (USA x17) bt Luksika Kumkhum (THA) 6-3, 6-2

Polona Hercog (SLO) bt Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5

Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x10) 6-2, 6-4

Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) bt Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL) 6-2, 6-4

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) bt Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-4, 6-3

Sofia Kenin (USA x27) bt Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-4, 6-2

Dayana Yastremska (UKR) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-3, 6-3

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) bt Iga Swiatek (POL) 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN x2) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

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