Ernests Gulbis on fake congrats from peers, chances of Sony Open wild card

Thursday March 14th, 2013

Ernests Gulbis Ernests Gulbis has risen from No. 136 to No. 67 this year (Charles Baus/Icon SMI).

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Rafael Nadal put an end to Ernests Gulbis' 13-match win streak Wednesday, defeating the Latvian qualifier 4-6, 7-6. 7-5 in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open. Since losing in an ATP Challenger in Bergamo, Italy, at the beginning of February, Gulbis has only lost three times, each to a top-10 player (Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro and now Nadal). Asked whether he felt players feared his top-10 form, Gulbis laughed.

"Who's gonna [say], 'Hey, Ernests, I'm scared of you?'" he said. "No, I try to not pay attention to it. It's tough to have good, nice relationships on the tour. Unfortunately, everybody is a little bit -- they congratulate you but with a look in their eye that they don't mean it.

Del Potro eyes meeting with new pope, fellow Argentine

"If I congratulate somebody, I mean it. Usually I don't congratulate people. Honestly. Because if I don't mean it why open my mouth? I say what I mean, and when I get not that in return, then I'm just --  I do my stuff here, I eat, and then I spend as much time as possible outside of the facilities always, in every tournament."

With his fourth-round performance at Indian Wells, Gulbis will rise to No. 55 on Monday. The tough news for him is that he may still be stuck in the qualifying tournament at the Sony Open next week in Miami. Though one main-draw wild card is still open, Gulbis isn't confident he'll get it.

"I can ask, but I don't think somebody's going to give a Latvian guy a wild card, let's be honest," Gulbis said with a shrug. "Doesn't matter how good he plays."

Gulbis' mom told him to quit tennis
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.