Gulbis: Success has negatively changed Djokovic

by: Matt Cronin September 17, 2013

AP Photo

In an interview with a Latvian newspaper translated by On the Go Tennis, Ernests Gulbis criticizes Novak Djokovic for how he's changed since becoming successful.

“I've known him since I was 12 years old,” Gulbis said. “We trained and lived together in the same room in Munich. I remember he was a normal, cool guy. But when he achieved his first big success then the look in his eyes just changed. You could just feel it. It's not like we argued or anything, I just feel like he has changed and I don't like that in people. I like strong characters who don't change when first success or money appear—that's the most important quality for me and it's also important for myself not to change.”

Earlier this year, Gulbis said that the men's Top 4 players were boring. In the interview last week, he said top players are image-conscious, "money-earning machines."

“To be honest I actually like to provoke others sometimes. I said few times about Nadal and other top players that they are boring in their interviews and such. Everybody just acts the same, everybody's the same," Gulbis said. "I don't want to be like all the others, I want to be different. Top players are money-earning machines—if they would say something 'not right' then they could lose contracts, sponsors and they are afraid of it. If you have started to act one way then you have to continue to act that way—Roger started to act as Swiss gentleman and now he has to continue to act like one, if he did something different, nobody would understand that. I'm all for individualism.”

More Stories

A game of 'Would You Rather?' with Kyle Edmund

The 22-year-old Brit has been rising up the ranks and turning into a household name. 

Gilles Simon beats Karen Khachanov to reach second round at Open 13

Mikhail Youzhny reached the second round with a win over 18-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

With first singles title, Harrison returns to career-high ranking

The 24-year-old American was last ranked 43rd in 2012.