(April 17, 2013) -- It was a rough day at the office for Ernests Gulbis at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters on Wednesday. The 24-year-old Latvian, who had won 17 of his last 18 matches, was fed a bagel from Juan Monaco in the first set, and even though Gulbis rallied to force a decider, his temper got the best of him too early--and too often--for him to emerge victorious.
Still, Gulbis was marvelously entertaining in that Safinesque way during the 6-0. 3-6, 6-3 loss, and even though the Monte Carlo faithful appeared to take offense to Gulbis' antics (probably because he kept complaining, to no avail, about their talking while he was preparing to serve), we still remain steadfastly as card-carrying members of the Gulbis bandwagon.
Here are the dramatic episodes of Gulbis' unraveling on Wednesday in three acts.
Act 1: It started with this innocent racquet smash as the Latvian was about to drop his eighth straight game (who could blame him?) ***Love the commentator here, as he states "He doesn't fancy that racquet."
Act 2: Gulbis was then penalized for playing a little footy after botching an easy volley. Again, who could blame him? ***Extra points for the facial expressions and hand gestures as he walks to the baseline.
Act 3: Gulbis chucks another frame off the umpire's chair and ends up getting a game penalty, putting him deeper in the hole in set 3. Monaco walks by and gives the ill-tempered one a nice lecture.
All in all, pretty excellent tantrum material from Gulbis. Too bad he seemed to sabotage his chances in the final set, as he may have had a chance to pull off the improbable victory had he not given Monaco that extra game.
Was Ernest out of line, or is this the kind of chaos that our sport badly needs? Let us know in the comments.