Why Tennis needs Ernests Gulbis

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I give an edge to tennis over other sports for being the sport of essentially good human beings. Played by the fittest athletes on tour who live a hard and highly disciplined life even off-season. All players are ‘supposed’ to check their language and behavior on court, a tennis player better be humble. And yes, we have very low number of tattoo freaks and weird hair-do’s in our game. But in all this ‘good boy’ feel that tennis generates, Ernie, Mr. Ernests Gulbis has long been knighted as the ‘bad boy of tennis’. But really, how bad is the bad boy of tennis? I say not at all.
Ernests hails from a wealthy Latvian family (I read somewhere, his dad owns a private jet!). And to top it all, he has undoubtedly one of the best looks-curls-beard combo on the ATP circuit. Gulbis often makes headlines-with his brutally honest comments, his bad boy habits that may or may not have landed him in trouble, his humor, his much talked about form and consistency and of course, his tennis. And tennis needs this Ernests Gulbis.
He raised many eyebrows calling the big four ‘boring’ in his interviews. Not sure how many would agree to that comment but they better agree when many observe that Ernie is pure at heart. He is not trying to impress anyone, he’s not trying to make friends. He is just sharing his honest opinion, and his honesty is refreshing. He is not offensive, it’s just his opinion! It’s good to see someone open up like the way he does. And how good is that that he is so effortlessly funny. Brutally honest, super-funny comments, who has an incredible ability of cracking jokes on others and himself as well. We see how accepting and loving he is of himself when we see him joke about his own pathetically painful inconsistency. He doesn’t come across as someone who is highly driven or motivated honestly. But he has often shared his desire of cracking the top 10 and the coveted #1 title as well. There is nothing that can stop him from being the next best thing given the talent but the honesty reflecting in his eyes when he say “I hope it works. I have given up a lot of things like smoking, drinking and staying up late” motivates teenagers like myself more than Djokovic’s living through the war story. I have often come across many people who are a fan of his racket breaking ritual, which we get to witness quite often. Personally, I like the way he does it. The way he annihilates the whole of the racket. I know nobody appreciates it but I cannot bring myself to hate Ernie on this at all. And on the contrary it’s an oh-boy-finally-some-drama moment for me. As a fellow fan described him, he is a ‘God at breaking rackets’. Now coming to what made him known to the world- his tennis. And Gulbis’ best shot is *drum roll*, his brutal backhand. Off late the only backhands that are making news are of Stan’s and Nole’s. But despite his ultra-disastrous 2015 his backhand is still alive and can give the likes of Nole and Stan a run for their money, leaving his fans with a like-a-boss feeling. Basically he has good hands, can hit great drops and lobs. And only if someone could explain me how that forehand of is ugly? Yes it’s a bit off and funny when he opens his arms wide in an attempt to unleash a monster and what we get is a decent to good forehand only. But these little things give Gulbis his own uniqueness. He brings a freshness to the sport. He may not have a highly motivational or inspirational story of his own for the kids but there is quite loads we can learn from him because for most reasons he is just like us- someone having issues with discipline, who loves junk food, who doesn’t want to follow rules, who follows his heart and is naive in many ways. Gulbis is different and he makes tennis interesting. And he is one person who has earned more fans out of his honesty more than anything else.


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