French Open: Ernests Gulbis claims Fab Four are awful bores

Ranting Latvian hits out at Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal, then loses to in-form Monfils

Roland Garros

Ernests Gulbis believes that tennis lacks characters and the top players are "boring", but that was the last adjective you would have used to describe either his opponent or their second-round match here at the French Open.

Gaël Monfils, whose tennis and personality are as colourful as his garish blue and yellow shirt, beat Gulbis 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 after three and a quarter hours of rich entertainment on Court Philippe Chatrier. The meeting of two men who play such bold and inventive tennis had been billed as the match of the day and it did not disappoint.

It hardly needed building up, but Gulbis did his best with a remarkable interview in this morning's edition of L'Equipe, France's national daily sports newspaper. The 24-year-old Latvian is a natural successor to Marat Safin in every sense, from his exuberant tennis to his playboy image and his say-what-I-think attitude.

When asked by L'Equipe about the comparison with Safin, Gulbis said: "Tennis today badly lacks characters. I respect Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal], Novak [Djokovic] and [Andy] Murray, but for me all four of them are boring players. Their interviews are boring. Honestly, they are really boring.

"I often go on YouTube to watch interviews. I quickly stopped watching tennis interviews. It's a joke. It was Federer who started this trend. He has a superb image as a perfect Swiss gentleman. I repeat that I respect Federer, but I don't like the way that young players try to imitate him.

"When I hear them reply like Roger, I am alarmed by phrases like, 'I had a bit more success at certain moments and that was how I won'. What does that mean? If I've won, I've sent the other guy home. That's the reality. I don't want to hear a guy who I wouldn't name but who I know thinks all his opponents are arseholes, putting on an act in an interview."

Gulbis said he would prefer to see players talk more like boxers, who speak their mind. In tennis, he said, "everything is clean, completely white, with gentle handshakes and pretty shots, whereas people would like to see broken rackets and hear some outbursts on the court".

As for his party-goer reputation, Gulbis said: "When I go out, I go out. I don't want to go into details, but when I party I like to party. Crazy or not, if you get drunk with some mates and you get to bed at seven in the morning, I say that's normal."

The match had everything, from the Frenchman taking out his phone to take photographs of the crowd to Gulbis hitting a serve under-arm. Gulbis thought the match turned because he was not fit enough, while "La Monf", as his opponent is nicknamed, showed astonishing speed and flexibility. Murray is one of many who regard the Frenchman as the game's greatest athlete and the Scot tweeted last night: "La Monf to win Rolly G?"

Monfils, who next plays Spain's Tommy Robredo, enjoyed passionate support from his home crowd. "I played a beautiful point and had 22 people applauding me," Gulbis said. "When half of them are members of your team – people you gave tickets to before the match – that's not enough. But the French crowd is a French crowd. It's good."

Roger Federer coasted to a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 victory over India's Somdev Devvarman, while among the women Petra Kvitova needed three sets to beat Aravane Rezai, Serena Williams crushed Caroline Garcia for the loss of three games and Agnieszka Radwanska and Victoria Azarenka won in straight sets over Mallory Burdette and Elena Vesnina respectively.

Caroline Wozniacki was the day's major loser, going down 7-6, 6-3 to Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski.

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
The video, titled 'A Message to America', was released a day after Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that has overrun large parts of Iraq, threatened to attack Americans 'in any place'. U.S. officials said they were working to determine the video's authenticity
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape