PARIS – An Ernests Gulbis press conference, win or lose, will ALWAYS be interesting.
He shoots from the hip, tells it like it is – or, more accurately, how he thinks it is – and doesn't ever really seem to be that concerned about the fallout.
And so, after Gulbis defeated Czech veteran Radek Stepanek to reach the fourth round at the French Open on Friday, he was innocently asked about his two younger tennis-playing sisters.
Here's the exchange:
Q. You have two younger sisters that play tennis, as well. Are they going to be as good as you? When was the last time you played with hem?
ERNESTS GULBIS: Hopefully they will not pursue professional tennis career. Hopefully. Because for a woman, it's tough. I wouldn't like my sisters to become professional tennis players. It's tough choice of life.
A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids. What kids you can think about until age of 27 if you're playing professional tennis, you know.
That's tough for a woman, I think.
It's entirely likely his sisters (half-sisters, most likely, Laura Gulbe and Monica Kavace) might disagree. In fact, 19-year-old Laura is doing just that.
Incidentally, we have found no correlation between the wildness level of Gulbis' look and the wildness of his statements. At the moment, the Latvian is in cave man mode (hairdo-wise, that is). But it's a moot point.
Laura, 19, had about a .500 winning percentage in the juniors and had a top ITF ranking of No. 192. Her current WTA Tour singles ranking is No. 1,220 as she starts out in small, $10,000 pro events. Kavace, known as Mona, just turned 16.
Best thing about this? Gulbis won't even take it back, or claim he was "misquoted."
It's worth noting that according to his bio on the ATP Tour website, his little brother, named Kristaps, plays golf.