Thumbs Up for Ernie (Peter Bodo gave E some tough/snarky love) http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/.../#.UkEFQCiUC_U
When it comes to Ernests Gulbis, the new champion of St. Petersburg, the thinking tends to run in one of two directions: He’s either a highly gifted, outspoken flake—a kind of head-case agent provocateur—or a loudmouthed, out-to-lunch, spoiled rich kid.
But I ask you, friends, what’s wrong with recognizing Ernie as . . . both?
The Latvian won his title in what might be called predictably unpredictable Gulbis fashion, ripping through 11 consecutive games to rout Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, and then promptly lavished praise on his own bad self, saying: “I’ve been very consistent especially in finals; I’ve never lost in a final. I’m proud of that record.”
Of course, the 25-year-old, world No. 27 has played just four ATP finals in his career, all of them in lower-level events, whereas Rafael Nadal (a fella Gulbis criticized earlier this year for being, essentially, consistent) has played and won 10—this year. And two of those were in Grand Slam events.
But never mind. Gulbis also waxed philosophical on his potential, declaring that if only he were a little more consistent himself, he’d be Top 10. And hey, if I were four feet taller I’d be playing in the NBA.
Some of you may wonder, after all this, why Gulbis gets a thumbs up, and that’s an easy one—he’s a refreshing personality in a sport filled with what you might call increasingly “corporate” guys. He’s a charming rogue, even if he’s so full of it that it’s coming out of his ears.