If you thought that Ernests Gulbis would fade in obscurity following his loss to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-final, you are entirely mistaken, as the Latvian is now “addicted to success” and will not stop until he achieves it.
“I’m not going to celebrate,” said Gulbis after his defeat to Djokovic. “It’s not enough. I need to reach more now. Now I’m addicted to success, really. I need to make this extra step now. I’m extra motivated.”
The Latvian No. 1 lost to Djokovic 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in what was mostly a one-sided contest. Gulbis, who had defeated both Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych in convincing fashion prior to his semi-final match, was unable to capitalize on his big serve and power against the Serb. Although Djok0vic would lose focus in the third set, he would recover quickly in the fourth set and secure the victory soon after.
“I’m not used to playing these kinds of big matches,” said Gulbis. “It’s just normal that I felt extra nervous and extra tense. I can take one positive out of the match: that I could still win the third set [when I was] feeling that nervous and that extra tired. That’s one thing that I take for the future. “The more I play these kinds of matches, the more I’m going to get used to these situations. For me, I take only the positive stuff out of it. I need to be in these situations once, twice, three times and then I can maybe make that extra step. I enjoyed it.”
Although Gulbis is proud of reaching another Grand Slam semi-final, he admit that his fortnight stay in Paris was a nerve-racking experience, and he is excited to take a few days off before playing Queen’s Club next week.
“Can I say that it was only positive emotions? No,” said the right-hander. “It was a lot of tension, a lot of nerves for me. Even after I won a match, I felt really good for one hour, but then I already started thinking about the next match and the tension was there and it didn’t let go. Now let’s say I feel relieved. I’m not happy that I lost, but I feel in a way relieved, that I have at least not another match for a couple of days, until the grass-court season.”
Ultimately, Gulbis considers his 2014 French Open to be a learning experience, and intends to use his new-found knowledge to better himself at the next Major tournament.
“Now I really understood every feeling and I learned from it and I tried to enjoy it. And even if it’s like negative emotions, like being nervous and being tense, I tried to even enjoy that and understand it, to understand how I can be better next time.”