Tennis Prose



It Looks Like Gulbis Has Departed The ATP

By Scoop Malinowski

Without any fanfare or fancy farewells, it appears a former ATP star has departed the professional tennis tour.

Former top ten and Roland Garros semifinalist Ernests Gulbis has not played a pro match since early February, a 61 26 76 Davis Cup match win vs. Israel’s Daniel Cukierman. In the doubles of that Davis Cup tie, Gulbis and his partner lost 63 63 to Cukierman and Edan Leshem.

Gulbis accumulated a singles match record of 5-3 this year in January and February in Challengers and Davis Cup but has vanished since. He is currently ranked 894.

If it’s indeed over for the the now 35 year old, there’s no denying the colorful Latvian achieved an excellent career in tennis. He won six ATP singles titles and earned $7.6m in prize money. Perhaps he’s best remembered for a stunning run to the semifinals at the 2014 French Open. Another highlight was when Gulbis defeated world no. 1 Roger Federer at the 2010 Italian Open, after squandering six match points.

Always an open and honest man, unwilling to speak in cliches and typical tennis rhetoric, Gulbis dropped some verbal bombs over the years. In 2013, Gulbis asserted tennis needed more interesting rivalries at the top of the ATP and declared Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic were “boring in interviews.”

In 2014 he was asked if he would encourage his sisters to pursue a pro tennis career and he answered, “I believe woman should focus on family and kids.”

In his first six ATP finals, Gulbis was victorious. His first title came at Delray Beach in 2010, a 62 63 win vs Ivo Karlovic in the final. His five other titles came in Los Angeles (2011), Delray Beach again (2013), St. Petersburg (2013), Open 13 in France and Nice (2014). The last ATP final Gulbis played was 2018 Stockholm where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas 46 46.

The first pro title Gulbis won was in 2005 at a Futures in Germany at age 18. Last year Gulbis was appointed president of the Latvian Tennis Union.

Check out my classic Biofile interview with Ernests Gulbis

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  • Cory · November 1, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Enjoyed the Biofile. Looks like he’s done… tough to come back at age 35 ranked 900. PS is Anderson done? He came back just for a quick thrill?

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 1, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Cory, Not sure about Anderson. I talked briefly with him in Newport and watched him play, train and stretch and he looked serious, not just a nostalgia trip. But he needs wildcards and to play low level events. His results were decent. Haven’t heard anything since. Same thing with Raonic, decent results, beat Tiafoe but couldn’t sustain it over the week. Gulbis was a special guy, he will be missed and not forgotten.



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