Busted Racquet - Tennis

Farmers Classic champ Gulbis has a spaceship, likes to partyErnests Gulbis defeated Mardy Fish on Sunday 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to win the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles, a fact which isn't half as interesting as the life story and outlook of the 22-year-old Latvian.

• After rising to a high of No. 21 in the rankings earlier this year, Gulbis switched coaches, went on a 5-12 skid and bottomed out at No. 85 in the rankings. He entered Los Angeles on a five-match losing streak. With the win, he moved up to No. 55.

• If you were watching any of the tournament's coverage on ESPN this week, you'll know that Gulbis comes from a wealthy family. A really wealthy family. His grandfather is one of Latvia's most famous directors. His mother was an actress. His father is a rich investment banker. Gulbis is asked so much about these things that once when questioned about whether his family owns a private jet, he cracked that they also have a spaceship and a submarine.

• When he was six years old, Ernests acted in one of his mom's movies. Watch the clip here.

• His parents named him after Ernest Hemingway.

• Gulbis recently considered the quitting game. He told The Independent:

"On one side I don't like it.I don't like the travelling. I don't like the attention, all the pressure. But on the other side I'm thinking, 'What else would I do?' I'm 22. Would I go to college, would I stay at home and do nothing, would I think about how to make some money, or would I live on my parents' money? But no, I've decided I would prefer to play tennis. I still enjoy competing.

"I understand now that I need to work. I don't want to be someone who lives off somebody else's wealth. I want to stand on my own feet and be responsible for my own."

• A visit to the Head racquet factory made him feel bad about smashing so many racquets during practice and matches. ""I felt bad after going to the Head factory in Austria where they make the rackets, and I saw all the work that they do," he told The Telegraph in 2009. "It's hand-made, they do everything for the players, they really think about what the players need, and then an idiot like me comes and breaks it. Sorry, that's my emotions, I can't hide them."

• In 2009, Gulbis was arrested in Sweden when he walked into a hotel with a woman who turned out to be a prostitute. He paid a small fine and the matter was dropped. "When I meet a girl," he said later, "I don't ask her what her profession is, I don't ask if she's a hairdresser or something else, I just meet her.

• Other life lessons from Ernests (as told to James LaRosa):

"To go out and not drink, I don't understand it. If you go to a nightclub, what is to enjoy there? Nothing. The music is too loud, everybody's sweating, everybody's dancing, it's dark, everybody's pushing, everybody's drunk. And if you're the only guy sober in the nightclub, you don't enjoy it at all."

• When asked before the match against Fish how he would play against the American No. 1, Gulbis joked that Fish should be worried because he's the No. 1 player in Latvia.

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