Ernests Gulbis is a Latvian tennis player, who has frequently been in the news both for his on-court accomplishments and his off-court controversies.
Gulbis is considered to be one of the most naturally talented players in the world, and on his day he can beat literally anyone. However, he has had trouble keeping his focus at the Grand Slams, often losing his way after registering a lead. Nevertheless, Gulbis remains a highly entertaining and colorful character, and has scores of fans all over the world.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: 2nd Round (2009, 2014)
French Open: Semifinalist (2014)
Wimbledon: 4th Round (2018)
US Open: 4th Round (2007)
Highest Ranking: No. 10
Style of play
Gulbis is an aggressive player who likes to go for his shots no matter what the situation. He takes the ball early off both wings, and looks to hit winners whenever he gets even a small opening.
Gulbis has a topspin forehand which he can hit both crosscourt and down the line with ease. His backhand is much flatter and also more consistent, and he often runs around his forehand to hit a backhand.
Gulbis has quite a bit of variety in his game, and uses the backhand slice frequently. He is also in love with the drop shot, and brings it out seemingly out of nowhere.
Strengths and weaknesses
Gulbis's backhand is widely considered to be world-class. Flat, penetrating and accurate, the shot can control rallies the way most people's forehand does. There's almost nothing he can't do with it - he can use it to push an opponent back, put away a short ball, change up the rhythm, and even flick back a defensive pass when running wide of the tramlines.
Gulbis's first serve is also a lethal weapon, and he is capable of generating some serious pace with it. The second serve is substantially less potent, and he often makes a ton of double faults in big matches.
The Latvian's forehand has gained much notoriety for its unorthodox take-back, and it is not a very consistent shot. He can hit it with power and depth, but can sometimes lose the shape on it completely, spraying countless unforced errors.
Gulbis is not the quickest mover at the back of the court, but can defend well by using the variety he has at his disposal. He is also quite proficient at the net, using his soft hands to come up with delicate drop volleys that surprise his opponents.
Gulbis's biggest drawback is widely considered to be his inability to be patient and consistent with his groundstrokes. He often chooses the wrong moment to pull the trigger, and sometimes makes errors seemingly out of boredom.
Gulbis was born in Riga, Latvia, and comes from a very wealthy family. His father Ainars is a big-time investor while mother Milena is an accomplished theater actress. His paternal grandfather Alvils Gulbis played professional basketball for the Soviet Union, and maternal grandfather Uldis Pucitis was a famous actor and director.
Gulbis's parents are literature buffs, and named him after American writer Ernest Hemingway. They introduced him to tennis when he was five, and enrolled him into the Niki Pilic Tennis Academy when he was 12.
Gulbis's wife is named Tamara Kopaleyshvili, who used to be a model. The two got married in November 2017, and have a daughter who was born in March 2018.
The Latvian has always been a media darling because of his forthright comments and occasionally bizarre behavior. In 2009 he was arrested in Stockholm for allegedly soliciting prostitutes, while in 2014 he claimed that women should not play tennis, and instead focus on family and kids.
He has also gone on record saying that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are 'boring', and has publicly joked about his wealth and his inability to stay motivated.
Gulbis's Grand Slam achievements haven't kept pace with his quotable quotes, but he remains an intriguing character who is still capable of springing the odd upset win.