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Justin Gimelstob

Justin Gimelstob
File:Justin gimelstob.jpg
Full name Justin Jeremy Gimelstob
Country 23x15px United States
Residence Santa Monica, California
Born (1977-01-26) January 26, 1977 (age 39)
Livingston, New Jersey
Height Script error: No such module "convert".
Turned pro 1996
Retired 2007
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Coach(es) David Nainkin (circa 2000)[1]
Brandon Coupe
Prize money $2,575,522
Career record 107–172
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 63 (April 19, 1999)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (1999)
French Open 1R (1999, 2000, 2003, 2006)
Wimbledon 3R (2000, 2003, 2005)
US Open 3R (1997, 1999)
Career record 174–158
Career titles 13
Highest ranking No. 18 (May 8, 2000)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open SF (2001)
French Open 1R (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007)
Wimbledon QF (1998, 2004)
US Open 3R (1999, 2004, 2007)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (1998)
French Open W (1998)
Wimbledon SF (1998)
US Open QF (1998)
Team competitions
Davis Cup SF (1998)
Hopman Cup W (1997)
Last updated on: July 23, 2014.

Justin Jeremy Gimelstob (born January 26, 1977[2]) is a retired American tennis player. Gimelstob has been a resident of Morristown, New Jersey[3] and as of 2009 resided in Santa Monica, California.[4]

He was the top-ranked boy in his respective age group at the ages of 12, 14, 16, and 18.[5] As a pro, he won the 1998 Australian Open and 1998 French Open mixed doubles titles with Venus Williams as his partner. He won a total of 10 singles titles and 15 doubles championships as a pro, and twice was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team.[5]

In singles matches, he has defeated Andre Agassi,[6] Petr Korda,[7] Àlex Corretja,[8] Patrick Rafter,[9][10] and Gustavo Kuerten.[11]

Gimelstob is currently the coach of American John Isner.[12]

Tennis career


He began to play tennis at age eight, and he was the top-ranked boy in his age group by 12 years of age.[5] In 1991, he was ranked No. 1 in the USTA Boys' 14 age group, and he was No. 1 ranked again in the USTA Boys' 16 age group, winning the USTA championship, in 1993.[5] He was also ranked No. 1 at age 18, and in 1995 he won the USTA National Boys' 18 Championships.[5][13]

Gimelstob grew up in the New Vernon section of Harding Township, New Jersey.[14] He graduated from Newark Academy in Livingston, New Jersey, in 1995.[15] As a sophomore at Newark Academy, Gimelstob led the school's tennis team to a 26–0 record and won the state Tournament of Champions.[16] In 2005, he was entered into the high school's hall of fame, the Newark (N.J.) Academy Hall of Fame.[17] The high school named its tennis facility after him and his brothers.[18]

College and pro careers

In January 1995, Gimelstob enrolled at UCLA, which had offered him a scholarship.[5] There, he completed his first semester with a 4.0 GPA.[19] After his freshman year however, during which he was an All American, he turned pro.[5][19]

Known to many as "The Most Quotable Guy on the ATP Tour", he earned the title with many interesting interviews. After reaching the U.S. Open as a wild-card in 1995, he said, "I'm only seven matches away from my first Grand Slam title."

In September 1995, he defeated World No. 65 David Prinosil in the first round of the U.S. Open. It was Gimelstob's first Grand Slam event, and he was ranked # 1,154. Gimelstob was featured in Sports Illustrated; the September 11, 1995, issue asked, "Eighteen-year old UCLA frosh, with 4.0 GPA in first term, aces U.S. Open debut. Could he be tennis' Tiger Woods?"

In 1996, his second (and final) year at UCLA, Justin won the NCAA doubles championship and helped lead the Bruins to a runner-up finish in the team competition (they lost to Stanford). After turning professional later in the year, Gimelstob began to steadily move up the world rankings.

At Wimbledon in June 1997 he upset world # 12 Gustavo Kuerten, 6–3, 6–4, 4–6, 1–6, 6–4.

"I feel great to have a win like this on my home court in front of my family, my friends, and every girl who denied me my first two years of college."

– Gimelstob, following his win over Agassi
In July 1997, he defeated world # 32 Andre Agassi at the ATP event in Los Angeles, 7–5, 6–2, played on the campus of UCLA. Later that month, he defeated world # 16 Petr Korda 6–4, 6–4 in Montreal. Gimelstob then reached the 3rd round at the 1997 US Open.

Gimelstob subsequently established himself chiefly as a doubles specialist, winning 12 titles. In 11 appearances at the US Open, he partnered 11 different players.

He won the 1998 Australian Open and French Open mixed doubles titles, with Venus Williams as his partner.[20] In 1998 Gimelstob also won his second career ATP doubles title (his first was in 1997, and as of February 2001, he had 9 career doubles titles).

In June 1998 at Wimbledon he beat world # 9 Àlex Corretja 7–6 (3), 6–2, 6–3. In July he upset world # 5 Patrick Rafter 6–4, 6–3 in Los Angeles.

In 1999, he reached his highest world singles ranking in April (# 63) and won an additional five doubles titles with four different partners (he has been ranked as high as # 18 in the world in doubles). In March he beat world # 22 Thomas Muster, 6–4, 7–5 in Scottsdale, and in August he upset world # 7 Todd Martin, 6–4, 6–4 in Cincinnati.

In June 2000 he beat world No.27 Fabrice Santoro in London, 4–6, 6–4, 6–0. In July he upset world # 19 Mark Philippoussis 3–6, 7–6 (7–5), 7–6 (7–3).

In 2001, he had the best Grand Slam performance of his career, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open with partner Scott Humphries. At the US Open, 5' 9" Michal Tabara spat at Gimelstob after Gimelstob defeated him in five sets after what Tabara felt were too many (3) of Gimelstob's injury timeouts for blisters in the 202 minute match that Gimelstob won 6–4, 3–6, 4–6, 4–6, 6–2. "Unless he grows about another foot by the time I get back to the locker room", the 6' 5" Gimelstob said, "he's in trouble."[21] Tabara was fined $1,000 for unsportsmanlike behavior.[22]

At the 2002 U.S. Open, Gimelstob was eliminated in the second round of the singles competition by No. 6 seed Andre Agassi in straight sets, 6–0, 6–1, 6–0. In doubles, he and partner Jeff Tarango reached the 2nd round before losing to Brian MacPhee and Nenad Zimonjić, 7–5, 2–6, 6–7 (5–7).

In February 2003 he upset world # 13 Paradorn Srichaphan, 7–5 6–2, in San Jose. At Wimbledon in 2003, he competed in both the singles and doubles events. He upset No. 15 seed Arnaud Clément of France in the 2nd round 2–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–7 (2–7), 6–1. In the third round, Gimelstob lost to Jonas Björkman of Sweden, 1–6, 3–6, 3–6. In September 2003, he won the International Series Gold tournament in Tokyo with Nicolas Kiefer as his partner. They beat Scott Humphries and Mark Merklein, 6–7, 6–3, 7–6.

At Wimbledon 2004, Gimelstob teamed up with his old friend Scott Humphries. The duo faced the dynamic Bryan brothers, ranked second, in the 2nd round. Gimelstob and his partner upset Bob and Mike Bryan 6–3, 3–6, 6–4. They lost to Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor in the quarterfinals, 3–6, 2–6.

Gimelstob won two singles titles in 2004. In July, took Forest Hills, New York, beating Dušan Vemić 7–6 (7), 6–2 in the final. In September, he competed in a hard-court tournament in Beijing. He beat Florent Serra of France 6–2, 6–2 in the quarterfinals, and Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6–1, 6–3 in the final.

Gimelstob won both doubles titles as well at Forest Hills and Beijing in 2004. In China, he was paired with Graydon Oliver as they defeated Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Taylor Dent 4–6, 6–4, 7–6 (8–6) in the final. He won the Nashville hard court title in November 2004.

Gimelstob had a good run in the hard court tournament in Tallahassee, during April 2005, losing in the finals. Gimelstob faced 29th seed Nicolás Massú in the 2nd round of Wimbledon 2005 and upset the highly rated Chilean 6–3, 4–6, 7–6 (7–5), 7–6 (7–0). He was eliminated in the 3rd round by Lleyton Hewitt (seeded 3rd) 7–6 (7–5), 6–4, 7–5.

In 2006, Gimelstob reached his first ATP Tour Singles Final at The Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, losing to Mark Philippoussis. In March 2006 he defeated world # 39 Feliciano López, 7–5. 6–3, in Indian Wells. In May he defeated world # 32 Nicolás Massú, 2–6, 7–6 (7–3), 6–4, in the Portugal, and in July he defeated world # 36 Andy Murray, 6–1, 7–6 (4), in the semifinals at Newport, Rhode Island.

In September 2006 he had back surgery to remove two large disc fragments that were cutting off the nerves in his right leg.[23] The injury was so bad that he had begun to lose feeling in his right leg.[24]

In June 2007, Gimelstob lost a contentious 6–4 vote of the ATP Players Council in his attempt to replace Andre Agassi's manager, Perry Rogers, on the men's tour's 3-man board of directors, and to become the first active player on the board.[25]

Gimelstob retired from professional tennis in the fall of 2007.[26] In his final singles major, he was defeated by Andy Roddick in the first round of the 2007 U.S. Open, 7–6, 6–3, 6–3. He also played doubles in the 2007 US open. After retirement, he pursued a career in sports commentary, working for Tennis Channel.

In 2008 Gimelstob joined Washington, D.C.'s first pro tennis team, the Washington Kastles. Also in 2008, Gimelstob ranted on a Washington D.C. sports radio program about Anna Kournikova, calling her a "bitch" and a "douche." He also judged other female tennis players based on their looks.[27]

Jewish heritage

Gimelstob is Jewish,[28][29][30][31] Asked in 2003, in the wake of a Vanity Fair magazine article about increased anti-Semitism in France, whether he had been the brunt of anti-Semitism while he was in France for the French Open, he responded that he was uncertain.[32] "They're so impolite and rude in general, you don't know if they think I'm Jewish or whether I'm just another American tourist".[33]

He was entered into the Southern California Jewish Hall of Fame in 2005.[9][17][18] He was inducted into the MetroWest Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in New Jersey in 2006.[9][34]

He said he was proud to be a Jewish role model.[35] He added: “When I played, I got a lot of support from the Jewish community. People identify me as a Jewish athlete. It’s a strong responsibility, and I appreciate that.”[9]

Davis Cup

Gimelstob played for the US Davis Cup team in 1998 and 2001.[36]

ATP Tour and Challenger singles titles

Legend (Singles)
Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP Tour (0)
Challengers (9)
No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. September 23, 1996 Urbana-Champaign Hard (I) 23x15px Steve Bryan 5–7, 6–3, 6–4
2. November 11, 1996 Andorra Hard (I) 23x15px Sandon Stolle 6–4, 6–2
3. November 16, 1998 Andorra Hard (I) 23x16px George Bastl 6–3, 2–6, 7–6
4. November 15, 1999 Andorra Hard (I) 23x15px Max Mirnyi 4–6, 7–6, 7–5
5. June 7, 2004 Forest Hills Grass 23x15px Dušan Vemić 7–6, 6–2
6. September 20, 2004 Beijing Hard 23x15px Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6–1, 6–3
7. November 8, 2004 Nashville Hard (I) 23x15px Amer Delic 7–6, 7–6
8. November 15, 2004 Urbana-Champaign Hard (I) 23x15px Ramón Delgado 6–4, 6–4
9. October 24, 2005 Carson Hard 23x15px Amer Delic 7–6, 6–2

Post-playing career

Gimelstob has been a blogger for Sports Illustrated (under the name "Gimel Takes All"), and has served as a regular commentator for Tennis Channel.[5][9][9][37] He has also presented tennis features and interviews for the TV Guide channel.[9]

John Isner hired Gimelstob as his new coach at the end of the 2014 season.[38]


On June 25, 2008, Gimelstob issued an apology for offensive comments he had made on the Washington, D.C. morning radio show "The Sports Junkies".[39] During the interview, Gimelstob said that he when he faced Anna Kournikova the following month in an exhibition match in Washington: "I’m going to serve it right at the body, about 128, right into her midriff. If she's not crying by the time she comes off court then I did not do my job." Asked if that meant he hated the Russian, with whom he trained as a youth, he replied: "Hate is a very strong word. I just despise her to the maximum level just below hate." He added that he would not like to sleep with Kournikova, "because she's such a douche." Instead, "I wouldn't mind having my younger brother, who's a kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits of that."[40]

Also in 2008, Gimelstob made controversial comments to Out Magazine that, "'The locker room couldn’t be a more homophobic place,' he says. 'We’re not gay-bashing. There’s just a lot of positive normal hetero talk about pretty girls and working out and drinking beer. That’s why people want to be pro athletes!'" [41]

In 2010, Gimelstob was suspended from his Tennis Channel commentating duties for comments he made regarding President Barack Obama.[42]

See also


  1. ^ "US OPEN". ASAP Sports. August 28, 2000. 
  2. ^ Williams, Lena. "TENNIS – EXHIBITION; Gimelstob Starts Charity Event", The New York Times, December 16, 1998. Accessed February 24, 2011. "On Saturday, Gimelstob and three of his Davis Cup teammates – Todd Martin, Jim Courier and Jan-Michael Gambill – will take part in a one-day exhibition to benefit three charities: the Eastern Tennis Association, the Tim and Tom Gullikson Foundation, and the Valerie Fund at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J. My brothers and I were born there, said Gimelstob, of the medical center."
  3. ^ Robbins, Liz. "Gimelstob Says Fine For Spitting Is Low", The New York Times, August 31, 2001. Accessed June 1, 2008. "Gimelstob was so disturbed that he threatened to find Tabara in the locker room afterward. Yesterday, Gimelstob, from Morristown, N.J., was even more angry."
  4. ^ ATP Board of Directors. Accessed July 17, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Ron Kaplan (January 27, 1936). "Third group of athletes to enter JCC MetroWest Sports Hall of Fame". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  6. ^ – Players – Head-to-Head
  7. ^ – Players – Head-to-Head
  8. ^ – Players – Head-to-Head
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Amanda Pazornik (February 12, 2009). "‘Gimel’ takes his game from court to announcer’s booth". Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  10. ^ – Players – Head-to-Head
  11. ^ – Players – Head-to-Head
  12. ^ "ISNER TO BE COACHED BY GIMELSTOB". Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  13. ^ Past Winners: 18s Singles, USTA Boys National Tennis Championships. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  14. ^ Staff. "Gimelstob Takes Shot at the Pros", The New York Times, May 16, 1996. Accessed September 3, 2007. "The first pro tournament for the 19-year-old U.C.L.A. sophomore from Harding Township, N.J., will be the Stella Artois Grass Court Championships in London in June."
  15. ^ Seeges, Sandy. "Last Open for Gimelstob: New Vernon tennis player has tough match in Roddick", Daily Record (Morristown), August 28, 2007. Accessed September 3, 2007. "The 30-year-old Gimelstob, a graduate of Newark Academy, has known for awhile that his career was coming to an end."
  16. ^ "Best Boys Tennis Team of the Century", The Star-Ledger. Accessed December 12, 2007.
  17. ^ a b "Justin Gimelstob". ATP World Tour. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Legends Justin Gimelstob – USA". Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "Personal Biography and Career Highlights". Justin Gimelstob. January 26, 1977. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  20. ^ David Goodman (May 19, 2010). "The A-Z Guide to Jewish Grand Slam Champions". TennisGrandStand. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  21. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ Robbins, Liz (August 31, 2001). "Gimelstob Says Fine For Spitting Is Low". New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Writers – Justin Gimelstob: Career-threatening surgery gives me life perspective". Sports Illustrated. September 26, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Gimelstob Is Set For Surgery". Sun Sentinel. September 14, 2006. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Stormy weekend for Gimelstob". August 6, 2010. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Writers – Justin Gimelstob: After 13 U.S. Open appearances, it's time to say goodbye". Sports Illustrated. August 30, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  27. ^ Graham, Nicholas (June 28, 2008). "Justin Gimelstob, Anna Kournikova: Gimelstob calls Kournikova a "bitch", threatens to "hurt" her". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Holding court in Cleveland". Cleveland Jewish News. July 24, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  29. ^ Day by day in Jewish sports history. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  30. ^ "SW19 Court Circular – The Wimbledon Diary". More than the games. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  31. ^ Alan Fleishman (April 1, 2010). "Exhibitions: A Story in Two Acts". Long Island Tennis Magazine. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  32. ^ "News". Palm Beach Post. May 31, 2003. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Bjorkman Beats Jersey's Justin". Daily News (New York). June 28, 2003. Retrieved February 14, 2011. [dead link]
  34. ^ Kaplan, Ron. "Hall of Fame induction becomes a family affair". NJ Jewish News. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  35. ^ Kaplan, Ron. "Hall of Fame induction becomes a family affair". NJ Jewish News. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Players". Davis Cup. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  37. ^[dead link]
  38. ^ "ISNER TO BE COACHED BY GIMELSTOB". Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  39. ^ Steinberg, Dan (June 18, 2008). "New D.C. Athlete Has a Kournikova Feud". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  40. ^ Women tennis players are all sexpots and bitches... U.S. tour director launches amazing sexist rant at Kournikova and Co, Daily Mail, June 28, 2008
  41. ^ "Former tennis pro Justin Gimelstob says locker room no place for gays…". Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  42. ^ "Gimelstob known to serve up controversy". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 

External links