Connect to share and comment

Tennis: Gambler Gulbis out of luck again


Ernests Gulbis will be hoping for a quick change of luck after the world number 10 suffered big losses at the blackjack table and an early exit from Queen's Club within the space of a few days.

Gulbis reached the French Open semi-finals last week before bowing out against Novak Djokovic and he returned home to Latvia to celebrate the achievement.

But the flamboyant 25-year-old's good fortune turned sour in the casino as he took substantial losses while playing blackjack with some friends.

To make matters worse, Gulbis's hopes of a strong pre-Wimbledon performance at Queen's Club were shattered as he slumped to a surprise 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 second round defeat against world number 66 Kenny De Schepper of France.

Widely regarded as one of the more colourful and out-spoken characters on the men's tour, Gulbis has a reputation for partying as hard as he plays, and asked if he celebrated his run at Roland Garros he said: "First of all I smoked a cigar with my friends.

"Then we had a special room where we played blackjack.

"I like blackjack but I lost. I lost a lot.

"My friends had a couple of drinks, unfortunately I didn't.

"I would love to but if I have a tiny sip, it's dangerous.

"But it was great to be in the company of friends to celebrate."

Gulbis, who knocked out 17-time major winner Roger Federer in the fourth round in Paris, had earlier joked that his gambling losses had cost him the 412,500 euros ($558,479) he earned from making the French Open semi-finals.

But asked if that was actually the case he added: "Not really, no. That would be tough!"

It should be noted that Gulbis is the son of one of Latvia's richest men and used to travel to tournaments by Lear jet, so his gambling misfortune is unlikely to leave him penniless.