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Ernests Gulbis Press Conference

Indian Wells, USA

R. NADAL/E. Gulbis

4-6, 6-4, 7-5

An interview with:

ERNESTS GULBIS

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please. 

Q.  Bad luck.  End of the run, but it was a great match.  Did you feel that   well, you were two points away from it   did you obviously feel you could win?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I felt from the first point on I could win.  It wasn't just the last two points.

Q.  So what do you feel about how it turned out?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  I feel bad.  I wanted to win, of course. 
Okay, if you want my match analysis, honestly, I think that I played better tennis.  I was more aggressive.  I went for my shots much more than he.  But he did really incredibly well, as he always does, on important points.  Just it's really tough to beat the guy, you know. 
When I was two points    when it was 15 30 I think in the    I came to the net, you know, or deuce, you know, and had good chance to win the points.  Sometimes he comes up with shots which other players, they don't comment up with.  You have to know this, you know.
I learned from this match, you know, and I notice from myself a couple of things, you know, in his game in my game, how I should play against a guy like this.
I think that I'm closing in.  I just need to continue in this way, and sooner or later I'm going to beat him.

Q.  Obviously people have been pretty excited about how you have been playing for the last several weeks.  How do you keep this going?  Just a matter of doing everything you're doing?  You played well before and have not been able to sustain it.  Are there mistakes you have made that you won't make again this time?
ERNESTS GULBIS:  Basically the only thing what I don't have to do now is I don't need to go out in LA in three nights and go to practice in Miami without sleep.  That's the only thing.  I get a good night's rest; I go to Miami soon; I practice well. 
Who knows?  Maybe I lose first round in qualifying in Miami, but at this stage it doesn't matter.  I made my goal.  I'm back to top 100.  I'm close to 50.  I will be close to main draws.  Just couple more points.  I have nothing to defend until Wimbledon, I think, so I think I'm honestly in the best position from the guys around which are in that area in the rankings, you know.
So anything what I win is going to be a huge jump in the rankings.  Nothing to defend.

Q.  There's still one wildcard available in Miami.  Will you ask for that?
ERNESTS GULBIS: I can ask, but I don't think somebody's going to give a Latvian guy a wildcard. Let's be honest. Doesn't matter how good he plays. But maybe they change    they surprise me. (Laughter.)

Q.You're already a champion in Florida this year.
ERNESTS GULBIS: Yes.

Q. At 4 5, he looked a little nervous in the forehand; he was hitting very deep. Do you regret not being more aggressive in the last set? Little shaky on the forehand. He was hitting them short a bit. 
ERNESTS GULBIS: But he always does it. When he's tight he just goes higher over the net in the middle of the court. That's it.
That's what he does. He just doesn't miss it, you know. He's really good. Let's say if I go to the net, if I'm aggressive, then he has these openings, you know. Then he has somewhere like a place to hit, and then he's I think the best in the world, you know, in this.
Let's see if I'm in the net and then he has this one shot, he goes for it, you know, and he usually makes it. But if it's like a rally, you know, he's not doing much. It's just really tough to make a winner. 
And of course I'm also nervous. When it's 5 4, when it's deuce and I need to make the shot, of course my hand also will shake, as is going to be his, you know.
But he just decides to go defense, you know, and I decided to go offense. Yeah.

Q. How much did the last couple of weeks change your sense of your season or maybe even yourself?
ERNESTS GULBIS: Myself it doesn't change at all. I promise you that results is not gonna change me at all. But as the season wise, I'm just really happy that I'm going to be able to play some main draws.
Qualifying is tough, you know. I don't know if I get in now in Monte Carlo main draw. I'm gonna be probably in Rome and Madrid. Those are the tournaments where I want to prepare well and there are the big points. There is the big money, the big points, the big matches.
As more matches I get like this, this is the best for me, you know, even if I lose. That's really good.

Q. What was it like being out there? The atmosphere was pretty exciting and pretty electric. You were in a final last week, but it's probably not the same feeling, right?
ERNESTS GULBIS: No, no, it's different feeling. Definitely different feeling. 
It's a nice feeling. It's hard to describe this feeling. Understand maybe some athletes or actors or musicians, you know, this is like a feeling which money cannot buy. When the crowd cheers, this is the energy what is inside, you know. And what people exchange in those moments, you know, that's what money cannot buy. That's why many, many people really love the sport and they're really passionate about it.

Q. Since Bergamo you've only lost to three players, all of them in the top 10. 
ERNESTS GULBIS: That's a good statistic.

Q. That's a good statistic. Put the rankings aside and everything. Do you think you're one of the top 10 players in the world?
ERNESTS GULBIS: That's not for me to say, honestly.

Q. Belief wise?
ERNESTS GULBIS: Belief wise, definitely. Belief wise I believe I can play against anybody and beat anybody. I believe that I can be in the top 10, yes. If I'm already there, no, I have to prove it. I'm 50. My ranking is 50, 55, so step by step, going to get closer. 

Q. What do you think about the distance you kicked that ball into the stands? Was that pretty good?
ERNESTS GULBIS: No. No. I can do better.

Q. What have the reactions been like from other players in the locker room to your run here? Are people excited for you or are they scared how good you're playing?
ERNESTS GULBIS: Ask them.

Q. Have you talked to them, though?
ERNESTS GULBIS: Yeah, but who's gonna, Hey, Ernests, I'm scared of you? (Laughter.)
Really, you play so well.
No, I try to not pay attention to it. I'm still young but I have been on the tour for a while. I look at it a little bit differently, you know. It's tough to have good, nice relationships on the tour, you know. 
Unfortunately, everybody is a little bit, you know, with the    they congratulate you but with a look in their eye that they don't mean it. If I congratulate somebody, I mean it. Usually I don't congratulate people. Honestly. 
Because if I don't mean it why open my mouth? I say what I mean, and when I get not that in return, then I'm just    I do my stuff here, I eat, and then I spend as much time as possible outside of the facilities always, in every tournament. 

Q. On some of the more important points tonight Nadal grunting pretty loud as he does. Do you notice that in a match and does it ever bother you?
ERNESTS GULBIS: No, no, no. 

Q. You do notice?
ERNESTS GULBIS: I notice yes, but no, it doesn't bother me at all.

Q. A year ago now did you think that what is happening now would be happening, or did you think it would happen sooner?
ERNESTS GULBIS: No, I play tennis to hope that it's gonna happen again, you know. Because honestly, if it would go    if I wouldn't find the right coach or doing the right things what I was doing I wouldn't be playing much more longer. 
I would probably quit really in one or two years if things are not going the way I want. But I did a big change, and it works, you know, so you're gonna see me around a couple years. 

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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