You can never be sure whether the Latvian is being deadly serious or pulling your leg. So would he really like Jack Nicholson to play him in a film of his life?

Locker Room: Ernests Gulbis



Originally published on 17/02/17 00:00

Can you remember how you spent your first prize money?
This may not be the first, but it is the first one I remember: I invited the whole Nikki Pilic Academy and my friends and we went to a restaurant and a bar afterwards. I paid the bill and I spent all of my prize money on that one evening. I wanted to make them and myself happy.

What is the first thing you will do when you retire?
Roll up a joint but I am not sure if I would smoke it, just roll it up [laughs] and look at it [laughs a lot].

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on court?
I probably have very high standards and limits for being embarrassed so probably not.

What is the first thing you do when you get home after travelling?
To be honest, my most favourite moment when I am at home is my trip from the airport, to Jurmala, which is my mother’s home. The trip is very short, like 20 minutes, and I put on my favourite music. I like the scenery and this is one of my favourite moments. I prefer to go alone and drive slowly home, especially if it is after some good weeks on tour. You know, when you have won some tournaments and this is pure joy. I would say that is a time for appreciation.

What actor would you like to play you, in a film of your life?
don’t really know the young actors; my generation of actors who would be, say, 25 years old and who are good. I know the older generation better. I don’t want to say the same as everybody but I really enjoy how Leonardo Di Caprio is acting, I really enjoy his work, especially his last movies. Definitely I enjoyed Robert De Niro’s early work and also Al Pacino’s early work, but not the comedies that they are doing lately. One of my favourite actors is Jack Nicholson – a different generation. I saw the movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” – that is one of my favourite movies that really sticks with me. I don’t remember how long ago I saw it the first time but I’ve watched it maybe ten other times. So, I would say Jack Nicholson but he is too old to play me, maybe in a few years!

What would you do with $100 million?
A hundred million dollars is not that much, $100 billion let’s say. This is a very difficult question; first of all, if you are a dumb person then any amount of money isn’t going to [help] you or anybody in this world. I would prefer to become a person who knows at least something in this life. I would think about earning money and then spend it, it’s a bit more important.

If you died and were re-incarnated, what animal would you come back as?
Hopefully I will not reincarnate as an animal. In my Buddhist philosophy the human is the last one of the reincarnation process from which you can then achieve Nirvana. So if I come back, that means I did something wrong in this life. So if I reincarnate I would prefer to come back as somebody maybe even more fortunate than I am right now, which is probably very di fficult.

Can you remember your worst journey?
Why do we finish with such a negative question? I think there is only one journey of life and this is your decision and decisions make it if it is good or bad, all other small journeys are just part of this big one. It’s better to get the worst ones out of your head quickly.

OK, a more upbeat final question, do you have any hidden talents?
No hidden talents – everything is out in the open. Nothing is hidden, nothing at all – (laughs).

This article originally appeared in tennishead Volume 7 Issue 6.


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