The New York Times has a story today on Ernests Gulbis, who defeated Mikhail Youzhny at the U.S. Open yesterday. Gulbis has decided to start living clean and serious at age 23, and this makes us sad. He is capable of so much more debauchery, and so many more hungover early exits. Yet now he's looking like he might make a deep run, even though he's in New York City, of all places. This invariably depresses anyone who wants tennis to be the least bit exciting.
The Times explains:
Asked what he would do to celebrate his birthday Tuesday night, Gulbis hastily answered: "I will go to sleep as fast as I can. No celebration. I've had enough celebrations in my life."
One of the tennis world's unabashed partiers, equally notorious for on-court tantrums that left rackets in cracked pieces as he was for visiting nightclubs until the crack of dawn, Gulbis has turned over a new leaf.
After being defeated by Nadal in the semifinals of the Rome Masters last year, he told stories of jetting home to Riga, the Latvian capital, arriving at 1 a.m. and heading right to a club with friends.
In 2009, Gulbis spent a night in a Stockholm jail for what he called a misunderstanding. After paying a small fine, he was released in time to play in the Stockholm Open. Still, the affable, malleable Gulbis came out smiling.
Where is that guy? The laughing, jailed, rich Latvian? We need him now more than ever! New Yorkers, please, if you see this man on the street, buy him a drink.