It’s understandable if you’ve never heard of Latvian Ernests Gulbis before. He isn’t a big name in tennis; he hasn’t won anything major in his career, his lone ATP title in his seven-year career came last year in Delray Beach, Florida. However, Ernests Gulbis did something you don’t usually see in tennis, when he upset Mardy Fish at the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles, Calif. on Sunday to win his second career ATP title. To make a long story short, Ernests Gulbis is a player who possesses extreme talent, but lacks the will and consistent motivation to harness that talent on the court.
If I told you that Gulbis owns a win over legendary Roger Federer you probably wouldn’t believe it. In 2010 at the Rome Masters 1000 tournament, Gulbis got the better of the Swiss legend in three sets. The fact of the matter is that Gulbis does have the talent to beat the top players in the world. Take for example what he did to Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals. Gulbis handled the Argentine giant with ease in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Most fans were expecting a number one and two seed finals matchup between Mardy Fish and Juan Martin del Potro, but it was Ernests Gulbis who spoiled that party. In the finals, Gulbis who is not known for wanting to stage a comeback after going down a set or two, did just that. After losing the first set, Gulbis persevered and rallied to shock the fans and Mardy Fish, taking the match and the title, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
With this win, Gulbis’s ranking jumps from 84th to 55th in the world. Realistically, Gulbis is a top 20 player, but his inconsistent results have led him to a low ranking. Before this tournament, Gulbis had lost in four consecutive first rounds. Hopefully with this title under his belt, Gulbis realizes his potential and continues to play at a high level.
Up next in the U.S. Open series will be the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C., which runs from Aug. 1-7.