Playing in his first career Grand Slam semifinal, Ernests Gulbis got a taste of the good life. Now after losing to Novak Djokovic in four sets the 25-year-old says he wants more.
‘I’m not going to celebrate,” Gulbis said following his loss to Djokovic. “It’s not enough. I need to reach more now. Now I’m addicted to success, really. I need to make this extra step now. I’m extra motivated.
‘I’m not used to playing these kinds of big matches,” he said. “It’s just normal that I felt extra nervous and extra tense. I can take one positive out of the match: that I could still win the third set [when I was] feeling that nervous and that extra tired. That’s one thing that I take for the future.
“The more I play these kinds of matches, the more I’m going to get used to these situations. For me, I take only the positive stuff out of it. I need to be in these situations once, twice, three times and then I can maybe make that extra step. I enjoyed it.”
Gulbis was the breakout star of the men’s French Open beating both Roger Federer in five sets and then Tomas Berdych in straights to reach his semis where Djokovic ended his 9-match win streak. The results will break him into the Top 10 just a 18 months after finishing 2012 ranked No. 139.
“The overall experience is just that I understood it much more than I did the previous time I was in the second week of a Grand Slam,” said Gulbis, “The previous time I reached a quarterfinal, I had no idea what was happening.
“Now I really understood every feeling and I learned from it and I tried to enjoy it. And even if it’s like negative emotions, like being nervous and being tense, I tried to even enjoy that and understand it, to understand how I can be better next time.”
The outspoken Latvian’s gotten into trouble in the past with prostitutes and his mouth. But now maturing he sounds like a man who wants to put that in the past.
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