French Open: Ernests Gulbis speaks to the press after his fourth round loss

Ernests Gulbis has enjoyed a resurgence at the French Open. His run to the fourth round has him in good position back in the top 60 of the world. 

Ernests Gulbis of Latvia hits a backhand during the Men's Singles fourth round match against David Goffin of Belgium on day eleven of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Ernests Gulbis of Latvia hits a backhand during the Men's Singles fourth round match against David Goffin of Belgium on day eleven of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Q. Starting with yesterday, you two didn't seem happy at all to be playing in those conditions. What were the conversations like? Do you think the decision to play at all was a good one?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "I think that we went on court when it wasn't really playable because it was drizzling all the time. I don't think the players should walk on court while it's raining. If it starts raining while we play, then we keep on playing till it's playable. But to walk on with rain, I don't think it's right decision. But anyway, we walked on. And then it was strange from Goffin, when he wanted to stop after 2-0 before my serve, I didn't think it was really, really correct. You know, he can stop before his serve but not before mine. Then when it was 3-0, then the referee was delaying the decision to walk off the court, and both of us, we didn't want to play because the conditions would maintain the same. It was slippery, lines were slippery. The court was okay but the lines, when you step on the line, then you can twist -- not twist but stretch your leg and have an injury. Yeah, I don't think it was very playable. That was yesterday."

Q. I think at some point we saw you took your bag and were walking off the court alone. Was that your decision solely? We weren't clear what was going on.

ERNESTS GULBIS: "I don't understand what I was doing there. If we're not allowed to play, why should I freeze on the court in rain? I wanted to go under -- I mean, everybody is under the roof and then we have to stay on court and freeze. You know, it wasn't very warm. That's why I took my bag and I wanted to wait at least inside. The umpire didn't let me, but then after 15 seconds she let me."

Q. Just to follow up on that, Radwanska and Halep said yesterday that players' points of view are not being taken into consideration, that your opinions don't matter. Is that how you feel about this as well?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "No, I don't think that it's completely players', that our desires are being ignored. For example, I spoke to the ATP about today's schedule, and they were very forthcoming to put all the men's matches second because for us to be again today, if it would rain again today, then we would be on and off and all this waiting. So at least they did it good to put us second. It's not always like that, but they have to do the best they can, you know. And they have these meteorological scientists telling them every half hour this or that. It's also we cannot put all the blame on supervisors and on the referees. It's nature, you know. But what I really think that players shouldn't walk on court while it's raining. That's the only thing. If it starts raining while we play, you know, we just keep on playing until the conditions are getting bad if you have to stop. But players have to be fair, and they both have to decide if they want to continue or stop. But most of the time it's very obvious. But to walk on with rain, I don't see a point to get these couple of games in. It's not worth it."

Q. Yesterday you didn't decide yourself you were going to walk off the court?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "No. No, it was the supervisor."

Q. It was the supervisor who said?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "Yeah."

Q. Do you feel like if two players feel like it's unsafe, even if the supervisor says it is safe, it's in your power and your right to refuse to play? Or do you feel like…

ERNESTS GULBIS: "I think so, yes, if you see how we had to play in Munich when it was snowing. I played while it was snowing. You know, we're not in a winter sport, you know. I think that players have to have some saying in that, definitely."

Q. (off microphone.)

ERNESTS GULBIS: "We stopped, finished the game and we stopped. There it was obvious. But sometimes it's not obvious. Sometimes, you know, it's also players have to be fair and they have to respect that you don't destroy other players' momentum and rhythm. You know, I think that, for example, if I would stop, if I would offer to stop, you know, it would be before my serve, for example. That's what I would do. You know, that's like from my side, common sense, you know. I wouldn't stop before the other guy serves. Or if he wants to stop, then we stop before he serves. But he has to be the first one telling that."

Q. Did any part of you want to continue yesterday? Because the conditions seemed much better for you than for Goffin. He seemed a lot more miserable in the rain.

ERNESTS GULBIS: "I think so, yeah. But I won one match with a walkover. I didn't want to win the second one. So I completely respect him if he slipped and he didn't feel safe. And it wasn't really safe on the lines. It was very slippery."

Q. Overall then how are you feeling about this run to the second week here? Overall positive tournament for you?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "Overall very positive tournament. Very difficult tournament. Difficult in many senses. I started the tournament without a coach. Then twisted my groin a little bit. Even with that, played really great tennis in the end of first round and all second round. Third round was a bit lucky for me, and today, yeah, I was very nervous. I think that disturbed my game a lot. I was tight. I wasn't moving my legs well. That was the thing. But overall, of course, it's 180 points. I moved in rankings, and I think close to top 50 again. I will be in main draw in most of the tournaments again. That's definitely a positive. And when you're in main draw, it's -- again, it takes you one, two good tournaments and that's it. You're top 20, top 30. So it's a big step."

Q. You are obviously not happy with Goffin for what you described he should have said before his serve. Have you had a word with him about this?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "No, it isn't like I'm unhappy. I said that I would do differently. I wouldn't stop. I don't like to stop before other players' serve. That's it. He didn't find it bad. But I don't feel bad about it at all. I like David a lot. I like his coach. It's absolutely no problem. If we ever speak about it, we can speak about it, no problem. But it's no hard feelings. He played very solid today. I wish him good luck."

Q. Can you just talk about which tournaments are you planning on playing ahead of Wimbledon, if any? And is finding a coach soon a priority or you're taking your time with the coach decision?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "Probably about the coach decision I'm going to sit today and think about it, because during the tournament I didn't really talk to anybody. I didn't think about it even. So now it's gonna be a time when I'm going to sit with my parents and then my physio and we're gonna think about it. The other part was what? Tournaments? I'm signed up in Stuttgart qually. But now it's Wednesday. To play qually on grass on Saturday, this is very difficult. I need to have at least one week of practice, so I'm not sure I'll be able to play qually there because conditions here were really heavy and slow, and it's a completely different tennis. And also, you have to do a lot of prevention stuff for grass because you play a lot lower and there is risk of further injuries. Yeah, I'm signed up in Halle. There I'm also playing quallies. But, for example, that tournament wouldn't be a problem because I would prepare. And if I have to play quallies, okay, I'll play quallies. Stuttgart, I'm not really sure. I need to think about it now again today."

Q. You mentioned you were feeling nerves. Where do those nerves come from?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "It comes from because I know I can beat him. I know that the draw opened up. I know that I could play semis here if I would play decent. It's also not easy to wait for three days for your match. You know, it's not like you can relax, not like you can think about different stuff. Yesterday we were all day on courts, and the stress level is pretty high for everybody, you know. So it takes a lot of energy in the end. I think he dealt with it better probably."

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