Ernests Gulbis at the French Open 2014
Ernests Gulbis at the French Open 2014

Ernests Gulbis: “I’m not used to play these kind of big matches. It’s just normal I felt extra nervous and extra tense”

TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 6th of June. N. Djokovic d. E. Gulbis 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. An interview with Ernests Gulbis

Q. In your opinion, what was the difference in the match today?

ERNESTS GULBIS: Difference in the match was, first of all, I’m not used to play these kind of big matches. It’s just normal I felt extra nervous and extra tense.

I can take one positive side out of the match: that I could still win a third set feeling that nervous and that extra tired, and I saw that he was feeling the same. So it’s not only me.

That’s one thing what I take for the future. I take it out of this match. Was a good thing.

 

Q. Ernests, the heat, the hot weather all of a sudden this tournament, how did that affect maybe both of you?

ERNESTS GULBIS: If I cannot take this weather, what I’m going to do in Australia? For sure it wasn’t the heat. I don’t know what was it. You saw also Novak. He also didn’t feel great at the end of the match.

It’s just that he was more consistent, especially in the end, you know. He just put the ball twice over the net, and I missed it the third shot. That’s it. That was all the difference.

The more I play these kind of matches, the more I’m going to get used to these situations.

For me, I take only the positive stuff out of it. Yeah, I need to be in these situations once, twice, three times, you know, and then I can maybe make that extra step.

 

Q. How have you enjoyed the last two weeks? Can you just talk about your overall experience of being deep into a slam over the last two weeks in Paris?

ERNESTS GULBIS: Yes, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it.

Can I say that it was only positive emotions? No. It was a lot of tension, a lot of nerves for me. Even as soon as I win a match, you know. I feel really good for next one hour, but then I already started thinking about the next matching and the tension is there and it didn’t let go.

Now let’s say I feel relieved. I’m not happy that I lost, you know, but I feel in a way relieved. That I have at least not another match for a couple of days, until the grass court.

Overall experience is just that I understood it much more than I did the previous time I was in second week of a Grand Slam. Previous time I reached quarterfinal I had no idea what was happening. I was there, you know, whatever comes, comes. I wasn’t thinking about it. Okay, it’s a match, you know. Whatever. Play on, you know.

Now I really understood every feeling and I learned from it and I tried to, yeah, 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.

 

Q. I think there were a couple of points in the match you gave each other points. He gave you a point in the beginning, and you gave him another one. Can you talk about those two? It’s not easy to see what happened from TV.

ERNESTS GULBIS: The first point he did a really, really nice gesture. The umpire said that the ball was out on my serve. He checked the mark and he said it was out.

Novak came and checked the mark and he said it was okay. I made a joke about it at Niki, our coach in Germany. He used to teach us how you should see the marks, you know. He used to draw the line around the ball.

So it’s like a different way to see it, you know. I made a joke about it, but I really appreciated it. It was a really nice gesture. Yeah.

I’m all about fair game. I don’t like to get no free points. I don’t like to win matches by walkover. I don’t like this.

Either way, you know, I would do the same thing. Yeah, when I saw the mark was touching the line, there was no question about it.

 

Q. You made first slam semi here; you’re first time in top 10. Which is a bigger deal to you? How are you going to celebrate the dual milestones?

ERNESTS GULBIS: I’m not going to celebrate. It’s not enough. I need to reach more now. Now I’m addicted to success, really (smiling).

Again, I felt the success so close, and I don’t say that I let it slip, these two weeks, because it’s great to play semifinal. I need to make this extra step now. I’m extra motivated now.

 

Q. You’re telling me you’re not going to celebrate tonight?

ERNESTS GULBIS: No, I can take a cigar, but not    with my coach. That’s the only vice which is left in me.