PARIS (AP) Not long ago, Ernests Gulbis played a semifinal at the French Open then broke into the top 10.
A long list of injuries later, the Latvian player has dropped to 230 in the ATP rankings and there is no sign he will get back to his best soon.
Gulbis, who reached the semifinals in Paris three years ago after beating the likes of Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych, lost to No. 7-seeded Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of Roland Garros on Monday.
He said injuries to his calf and wrist hampered his preparations for the tournament.
''I started to play points just three days ago and it was the best that I could do in these circumstances,'' he said.
Once a bright prospect, Gulbis has turned into a 28-year-old unfulfilled talent still searching for a first win on tour since the French Open last year.
He, however, remains upbeat.
He has found love, is going to get married, and that's what matters the most to him.
''It is discouraging when you see yourself in the rankings, you don't want to be there, but it's not a tragedy,'' Gulbis said. ''The most important thing for a man or a woman is to find their true love and partner for the rest of their lives. Marriage is beyond anything. I'm very happy, very much in peace with myself.''
As for his career, Gulbis said tennis is just a tool helping him to understand his inner self.
''As soon as I understand that I cannot gain anything from doing this thing, then I'm going to stop doing this. I'm not doing this for earning money or popularity. I know that this makes me right now a better man, playing tennis and going through theses struggles. Tennis is an instrument, when it does not help me anymore to become a better man, I will stop.''