Ernests Gulbis has made his ambitions clear regarding where he believes his future lies in the ATP rankings. The Latvian No. 1 is coming off a fantastic week in Marseille, where he defeated both Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to lift his fifth ATP World Tour title, and first of 2014. The win will allow Gulbis, who is currently ranked at No. 23, to debut inside the ATP Top 20 on Monday, and he is adamant that this is merely the beginning.
After sitting outside the Top 100 at No. 109 this time last year, it is clear that Gulbis has no intention of curbing his meteoric rise up the rankings. The 25 year old’s main ambition in tennis is to arrive at the No. 1 rankings, and is not fully satisfied with simply being a member of the Top 20.
“My long-term goal in tennis isn’t to be Top 20. It’s to be No. 1,” stated Gulbis. “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, and my joy and happiness is based on my tennis career.”
Gulbis attributes his confidence and ambition to his belief that the top competitors in the game are “threatened” by his talents on courts, mainly his aggression and powerful serving. While he does not consider himself in the same league as Nadal, Djokovic or Murray, Gulbis is certain he can one day prove himself to be worthy of a spot amongst them. The Latvian is currently 3-2 against Top 10 competition in 2014, including a win over Juan Martin del Potro.
“I think [the top players] feel threatened by my game, because they know if I serve well and I’m aggressive, then it’s tough to play against me. I don’t feel I’m in the same league as the [Top 4] yet, I need to prove it. Game-wise, I think that I can be.”