Tennis

Roger Federer's French Open opponent makes sexist remarks

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Latvian tennis star Ernests Gulbis has landed himself in hot water again over remarks made towards professional sportswomen. 

The 25-year-old, who is enjoying one of his best Grand Slam campaigns to date, made the comments after setting up a fourth-round showing with Roger Federer at the French Open.

When referring to his younger sisters' chances of also entering the world of professional sport, Gulbis said: "Hopefully they will not pursue professional tennis careers. Hopefully. Because for a woman, it's tough.

"I wouldn't like my sisters to become professional tennis players. It's a tough choice of life. A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids."

The comments have already sparked outrage on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Gulbis could well have some explaining to do, but this is not the first time that the world no.17 has promoted controversy.

17-time Grand Slam champion Federer may well be looking forward to their Roland Garros clash after his opponent once described the Swiss star - along with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray - as boring in an interview 12 months ago.

Other incidents to put his name in the headlines include his arrest in 2009 for allegedly soliciting with prostitutes during a tournament before being released. He said after that particular event: “it was great, it was great fun, a very funny time”.

If Gulbis is now attracting interest around his controversial figure, it certainly hasn't manifested itself into on-court success.

A quarter-final appearance at the French Open in 2008 is his best ever showing at a major. Since then, only once has he passed round one or two on tennis' biggest stages. 

Furthermore, off the clay, he has never exceeded the fourth-round at either Wimbledon, the US Open or the Australian Open.

However Gulbis' run to a meeting with Federer in Paris this year has only seen the 18th seed drop one set in the tournament.

Since losing his opening set in round one against Lukasz Kubot, the Latvian hitter has enjoyed simple victories over Facundo Bagnis and Radek Stepanek.

Fourth seed and former world no.1 Federer will be looking to end Gulbis' run though. The 32-year-old overcame a spirited Dmitry Tursunov to win 7-5 6-7 6-2 6-4 today on the central court.

Tennis' most successful star is looking for just his second triumph on the French dirt. Rafael Nadal's dominance as 'King of Clay' has limited his chances for victory, but the Spaniard's only ever loss in 2009 provided Federer with an opportunity that he took. 

It will be tough for Federer this year as Nadal remains in-tact after his win over Dominic Thiem yesterday. Djokovic - who is widely tipped to win his first French Open crown - also moved into round four today after disposing of Marin Cilic in four sets.

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Topics:
Roger Federer
Tennis
French Open

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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