Gulbis finds 'inner comfort,' and French semis

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm •  Published: June 3, 2014
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PARIS (AP) — If tennis weren't finally going so well for Ernests Gulbis, he could probably make a living as a comedian. Or a philosopher. Or maybe even a basketball player.

It doesn't really matter at this point because tennis is his job. And his next task is Novak Djokovic in the French Open semifinals.

The 18th-seeded Gulbis reached his first major semifinal in his 27th major tournament, beating sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 Tuesday at Roland Garros. The victory came two days after Gulbis defeated Roger Federer, the 2009 French Open champion and owner of a record 17 Grand Slam titles.

"I don't understand it yet," Gulbis said, reflecting on his last 10 days in Paris. "Even now, I don't want to be too happy. I don't want to get too much stuff in my head."

But there's plenty in there.

Gulbis is 25 years old, comes from a wealthy family in Latvia and has underachieved for years. He attributes his lack of success on the tennis tour to a lifestyle in which partying meant more than winning.

All that, he has been saying recently, is changing.

"What took me so long? I think I was eating wrong. I had the wrong diet," Gulbis said, jokingly referring to the gluten-free diet that Djokovic says made him a better player. "My diet is full-on gluten. I like a lot of ketchup, a lot of unhealthy stuff."

But seriously, folks, this guy is playing some great tennis on the red clay in Paris. And against Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, he seemed at another level.

"I felt physically so good. I felt that I can run forever," Gulbis said. "I felt that he cannot make (a) winner."

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