3/15/13 8:05 PM | Johan Lindahl
The win streak may be over for Ernests Gulbis after 13 straight following his defeat by Rafael Nadal at the Indian Wells Masters.
But the Latvian qualifier, who was formerly known more as a tennis playboy than a title contender, is planning to carry on to Miami with his new, serious approach to his sport.
Gulbis believes he will likely have to fight his way into the next Masters 1000 field in South Florida, with little hope of obtaining one of the last wild card entries. But after putting Nadal to the sword and almost coming up with the fourth-round upset in the Californian desert, Gulbis wants to stick with his new work ethic.
That means no more boys' nights out in Los Angeles, for instance, a once common occurrence for the son of one of his country's wealthiest industrialists. "I don't need to go out in LA in three nights and go to practice in Miami without sleep," said the world No. 67. "I'll get a good night's rest; I go to Miami soon; I'll practice well.
"Who knows? Maybe I lose first round in qualifying in Miami, but at this stage it doesn't matter. I made my goal. I'm back to top 100. I'm close to 50.
"I will be close to main draws. Just couple more points. I have nothing to defend until Wimbledon, I think, so I think I'm honestly in the best position from the guys around which are in that area in the rankings, you know. Anything what I win is going to be a huge jump in the rankings. Nothing to defend."
Gulbis, who won the Delray title in February for his second title in four years at the event, plays down his chances for a wildcard despite the local connection. "I can ask, but I don't think somebody's going to give a Latvian guy a wildcard. Let's be honest. Doesn't matter how good he plays."
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