Ernests Gulbis

  • Date of birth: August 30, 1988
  • Birthplace: Riga, Latvian SSR
  • Residence: Jurmala, Latvia
  • Height: 6'3'' (1.90 m)
  • Weight: 170 lbs (76 kg)
  • Plays: Right-handed; two-handed backhand

Ernests Gulbis was born August 30th, 1988 in Riga, Latvia. As of August 24th 2009 he is ranked 95th in the world. In 2008, Gulbis won his first ATP Tour doubles title in Houston, teaming with Rainer Schuettler. His career highlights also include a quarterfinal appearance at the 2008 French Open, where he lost to Novak Djokovic, and a 4th round appearance at the 2007 US Open, upsetting two seeds along the way.

Gulbis primarily employs an offensive baseline playing style, although is fairly comfortable playing from all court positions. Gulbis' most consistent shot is his forehand, which has been likened to that of American James Blake's for its rapid pace and relatively flat execution; his forehand is taken with a medium swing and with high levels of wrist action, which attributes to the explosive nature of the shot. His arsenal of forehand shots is nearly complete, and thus can be extremely disruptive and turn a defensive position into an offensive one. His running forehand has a slice action, but consistently lands extremely deep in the court, allowing for adequate recoil time to regain court position. Gulbis also has a particularly excellent array of finesse shots, including the high lob and drop shot, both of which he can strike from any position, including from deep in the court. His drop shot in particular has been noted as one of his more effective shots, as the power and depth of his groundstrokes push his opponents far behind the baseline, which makes the drop shot more effective. Gulbis' primary weakness is his consistency, which has been known to break down during tough situations. Gulbis' foot speed is only moderate, although his return of serve is varied and dangerous, particularly on second serves and, due to his height, kick serves. In his televised matches in 2007 and early 2008 his serve would have been described as moderate, but has recently vastly improved in speed and variety, having served out several games with no returns against the incredible returners David Nalbandian and Rafael Nadal.