Gulbis keeps perfect record to win Open 13 title

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm •  Published: February 23, 2014
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MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Third-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia showed he has the temperament for big matches, extending his perfect record in finals to 5-0 after beating defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (5), 6-4 to win the Open 13 title on Sunday.

Gulbis, ranked 23rd, beat France's two best players in straight sets on his way to the title, having eliminated the top-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.

"It's a really nice record for me. Five-nil is really good. I remember when I used to play Futures and Challengers, I think I lost maybe one or two finals," Gulbis said. "When I get into finals I really have good form and good confidence and play my best tennis."

This time last year, the 25-year-old Gulbis was ranked outside the Top 100, but is now on the verge of breaking into the Top 20.

"My long-term goal in tennis isn't to be Top 20. It's to be No. 1," Gulbis said. "Anything less than that wouldn't make me fully satisfied. I don't want to get to 30 years old, look back on my career and say I didn't make something of it. Everybody's looking for satisfaction in life."

Playing in his 19th career final, the second-seeded Tsonga was favorite to win the Open 13 for the third time and to secure an 11th career title, but he struggled with Gulbis' attacking approach.