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‘Women should have kids, not play tennis’, says this man

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Ernests Gulbis has a long history of producing sensational press conferences, very often for the wrong reasons.

So it was little surprise to anyone that the Latvian shocked reporters with his views on women when asked an innocuous question about his sisters' tennis ability.

After beating Radek Stepanek to reach the fourth round of the French Open, he was innocently asked whether his two younger sisters would emulate his achievements.

Well, not only did he not think so, but he expanded beyond what was strictly necessary to provide his views on women playing sport in general.

Q. You have two younger sisters that play tennis, as well. Are they going to be as good as you? When was the last time you played with them?

ERNESTS GULBIS: "Hopefully they will not pursue professional tennis career. Hopefully. Because for a woman, it's tough.

"I wouldn't like my sisters to become professional tennis players. It's tough choice of life.

"A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids.

"What kids you can think about until age of 27 if you're playing professional tennis, you know.

"That's tough for a woman, I think."

Patronising and offensive or understandable given his perspective and admirably honest?

Well, how it has been portrayed in the wider media is of an outspoken player expressing seemingly negative and unhelpful views about women in tennis.

Oh, and the response on social media was predictably one of shock and outrage.

His sisters, Laura Gulbe and Monica Kavace, will very likely disagree with him - particularly given that 19-year-old Laura is already embarking on a very promising career in the sport.

She had about a .500 winning percentage in the juniors and a top ITF ranking of number 192.

Her current WTA Tour singles ranking is 1,220 as she starts out in small professional events, but that is the same for anyone at her stage of development. Kavace, meanwhile, known as Mona, has just turned 16.

So maybe Gulbis should not have said what he did, but was it understandable given his views on his two sisters' careers? Post your comments below...

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