Vilius Gaubas: “The Biggest Challenge Is The Mental Part!”

Vilius Gaubas (photo: Florian Heer)

TELDE, April 15, 2023

Vilius Gaubas is one of the up and coming players on the Pro Circuit. Following his triumph at the 2022 Velenje Open, the 18-year-old from Lithuania captured his second title on the ITF World Tennis Tour, winning last week’s M25 tournament in Reus, Spain.

Gaubas is trying to continue his fine run of form at this week’s TDC Series by Bidi Badu being held in Telde, the second largest city in Gran Canaria. The ITF World Tennis Tour M15 clay-court event is taking place at the El Cortijo Club de Campo, which already hosted an ATP Challenger Tour tournament at the beginning of last year.

We met the World No. 757 after a tough his first-round win in three sets against second-seeded Frenchman Clement Tabur.

Tennis TourTalk: Congratulations, Vilius! What was the key to success in your match today?

Vilius Gaubas: I was mentally strong although I didn’t feel good at the beginning of the first set. In the end I was trying to get some good feelings. 

You had a couple of tough matches in recent weeks. How do you feel physically?

I am bit tired, but when I do a good warm up, when I am really activated, I am okay. It will take more time to recover, but it’s fine. 

You played in Reus last week and won the biggest title of your career so far. 

Yes, and it wasn’t easy as I came from the qualifying. I played well and was relaxed during the matches. I also was confident, which helped me to win the matches. 

You seem to really like the conditions in Spain?

Yes, in particular the warm weather and the clay courts. The ball bounces high, which is good for my game. I have been practicing with my coach Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Alicante for the last four years, so it is an advantage for me. 

Does Guillermo also travel with you on the tour?

Yes, he was in Reus last week but he couldn’t come to Gran Canaria. Hopefully he will join me next week again.

How would you describe your own game style? What are your strengths on the court and what are still some weaknesses?

My forehand is my strength for sure. I always try to take the initiative during the rallies. I still have to work on my defense and the return. 

Do you have any role models or idols?

Casper Ruud and Dominic Thiem. 

Have you already had the chance to meet them?

No, not yet. 

You were a Top 20 Junior. What are the challenges to establish yourself on the Pro Circuit?

The biggest challenge is not tenniswise but the mental part. The men are mentally more solid and focused than juniors. This is the most difficult part. 

You played Davis Cup and represented your country against Pakistan. How was the experience?

It was great. I had the chance to win the doubles and win the tie. The atmosphere in Vilnius was amazing. It was a fantastic experience. 

How would you describe the importance of tennis in Lithuania in general?

I would say it’s getting really big now. They are investing a lot, building many courts and facilities. More players are getting better and we also have better coaches. It’s growing quite fast now. We also have two ATP Challenger events now, which is a big thing for us. We are happy with the improvements. 

Is it your first time in Gran Canaria?

No, I played an Under 14 tournament here a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I haven’t had too much time to discover the island but I will stay for two weeks here and will hopefully have some time to look around and visit some interesting places. 

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

I want to crack the Top 500 but hopefully I will do better and will stay focused. 

Thank you and all the best in the future.