Ernests Gulbis, who beat former finalist Tomas Berdych in the first round, talks jail, prostitutes, private jets, helicopters, submarines, spaceships, smashing rackets and why he doesn’t care for fame or money.
Gulbis on rumours that his father – reputed to be the third richest man in Latvia – lends him his private jet to travel to tournaments: “Yes, and I have a helicopter, a submarine and a spaceship.”
Gulbis on the night he spent in a police cell in Stockholm after he was arrested for soliciting prostitutes: “It was great, it was great fun, a very funny time. But I’m never going to go to Sweden again. If you go out and meet some girls, and immediately you’re put in jail, that’s not normal. When I meet a girl, I don’t ask her what her profession is, I don’t ask if she’s a hairdresser or something else. I just meet her. And she meets me. She doesn’t ask what I’m doing. Anyway, if she does ask, I usually lie, I say that I do nothing or I’m a musician or something. It was very funny, though. I think everybody should go to jail at least once.”
Gulbis on money: “Because I come from a wealthy family, it’s more normal for me to have this money as a tennis player. It’s OK if it’s there, it’s OK if it’s not there. It’s not a big issue for me. If you come from a poor family, you want to pull yourself up, you have a goal to earn money. I don’t have that goal.”
Gulbis on fame: “The fire in me is that I want to prove that I can do it, that I can be at the top. I don’t care about money and I don’t care about fame either. I don’t like money and fame. I don’t need them and I’m not living for them.”
Gulbis on tennis: “I don’t know if I like the game so much. I enjoy competing, but I don’t like practising. When I’m on court and it’s a competition, I enjoy it. I enjoy having a goal, but when you reach that goal, it’s OK but you also get an empty feeling. I”m not a tennis freak. There’s more to life than tennis. This is a good part of your life, but it will end. It will end when you’re 30, and you shouldn’t plan a life in tennis forever.”
Gulbis on breaking rackets: “I break around 60 to 70 a year. I felt bad after going to the factory where they make the rackets and I saw all the work they do. Everything is hand-made, they do everything for the players, they really think about what the players need, and then an idiot like me comes and breaks them.”