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September 10, 1998

Justin Gimelstob

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Tell your reaction to being on the team for the first time.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Well, I mean, I'm ecstatic obviously. It's really exciting. One of my goals in the beginning of the year, I remember when I told you, I guess we were at the Adidas in December. It's just great. I mean, it's a good opportunity for me. I feel like I deserved a chance and I'm going to be ready.

Q. How do you know the pills have kicked in and they're working on the enzyme problem?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Well, I mean, I guess we won't really know until I'm really physically tested. But I'm going to be practicing the next two weeks. I can tell you I'm going to be working pretty hard, so I guess that will be the best indicator. Already I feel better. I think just the doctors' opinion, the problem has already self-corrected. I guess there's no way to really be sure until I get to another match-type situation. I'm pretty confident it's well under hand.

Q. Are you working with Jim Courier in Orlando?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yes, go stay at his house. We're going to go up there and train until we go to Milwaukee next week.

Q. He's going to work you pretty hard, isn't he?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, we're going to work hard. Paul will be there. We'll be working hard to get ready.

Q. Do you feel there's even a chance that you might play singles if something might happen?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I mean, maybe with -- yeah, it's possible. I wouldn't rule it out. But at this point it doesn't look like that's the case. But, I mean, I wouldn't rule it out. I'll be prepared if need be. I would think that hopefully maybe if there's a dead rubber, at least I'd be able to get in and play. Who knows? A lot of funny things go on in Davis Cup. Who knows what ends up happening.

Q. About a doubles partner, who would be playing with you?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I think it's going to be Todd. Once again, I wouldn't rule out that it's going to be Courier. Jan-Michael and I won the 12 doubles, so maybe that's a possibility (laughter).

Q. Which 12 doubles?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: The 12 National.

Q. Are you a deuce court or ad court receiver?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I would say the deuce. I played the ad in college. NCAA playing the ad. Mostly the deuce as a pro. I mean, either/or.

Q. Do you think you guys are going to feel a little bit like the team of basketball players that had to take the Dream Team's place this summer?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Not really. I mean, they were made up of CBA players and college players, I believe, right? Courier has won four Grand Slams, Todd on any team -- Todd and Courier would be on any team regardless. In terms of Jan-Michael and I, I think we've deserved -- obviously we wouldn't be the picks if the other guys were available, Sampras, Agassi and Chang, but I think we're -- I think we're hopefully -- we've shown talent, and we have the ability to lead the next group of kids. I think we deserve the chance. I won't be looking at it that way. I'll look at it that we were the best players chosen that were, you know, capable of going.

Q. How do you view Davis Cup in the context of your whole career? Do you view this as a long-term commitment if things go well?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Oh, yeah. I mean, I don't think I would -- obviously who knows what things come up. I would be hard pressed to think that I would ever turn down a Davis Cup request. It's something that I've always put at the top of my career goals. I mean, that and the Grand Slams. I don't understand how other people don't think that way. I guess it's just different philosophies. But I I'm committed -- I've been committed as a practice partner, as a spectator, and I think I'd definitely be as a player.

Q. In terms of the Davis Cup, a lot of people have proposed format changes to either get more interest from either media or followers. I'm wondering, do you think maybe a Ryder Cup set format like they do for golf, a certain site every certain amount of time, would generate more interest and maybe be able to be accommodated more by players?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I think it's definite that it's been well-established that the Davis Cup format as it is is not ideal with the frequency of it, just the frequency and the defending champion having to play again later, the scheduling, there would be so many tournaments. That's well-established. I think there are a lot of people who are jockeying and petitioning for certain changes, like the golf. Hopefully that will help interest. It doesn't seem to be going through. I don't really know the technical reasons for it. I don't know whether -- I think maybe some of the reason is some of the other countries need a lot -- get a lot of their revenue from the Davis Cup as opposed to us, who are very fortunate to have the US Open. Some of the smaller countries really depend on Davis Cup and the frequency of it to gain -- to support their country's development of tennis. I think that might be one of the reasons. That's a fair problem for them to have. But ideally it would be every couple years, I think it would definitely be easier to field the strongest teams available.

Q. You're going to be playing doubles probably with Todd. Very different personalities. Todd is a somewhat sedated guy on the court. You're kind of an excitable guy on the court. Do you think you're going to make him more excited or do you think he's going to make you more sedated?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I think -- I think it will rub off both ways. I think it will rub off both ways for sure. I think he's definitely low-key. And hanging out with him, he taught me some things on how to behave, act more maturely. I think I might bring a little bit of youth and excitement to the team to the doubles that we've kind of lacked lately.

Q. In that kind of format with flag waving inside a loud stadium, hopefully loud, is that sort of the ideal venue for you and the kind of excitement that you want to go during a match? Do you think you might get everybody kind of excited?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: So the question is basically how excited am I to play?

Q. How inflamed are you going to make the crowd?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Well, I mean, I would have to say that obviously I'll be pretty darn excited. I mean, I need you to hold one second.

Q. Are you in your car, Justin?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I'm in the car going to the airport. I need to get my flight information. Obviously it's a situation that I don't think you really can predict how you're going to emotionally deal with it. Obviously I think everybody thinks I'm going to be just -- I think most people are expecting me to actually maybe be unable to deal with the overwhelmingness of how emotional I am, you know, just being overly intense or overly tense, overly animated. I really feel confident -- I know I'll be able to handle myself professionally, yet not hide -- not take away some of my attributes. I'm going to be excited, I'm going to be energetic, but I'm also going to be professional and conduct myself in the proper manner. But I'm definitely going to be me out there. I'm going to be fired up. I'm going to be excited to play. It's going to be an exciting time for me. But I also feel, you know, I've been a pro now for a couple years. I felt like I haven't mastered, but I've learned how to deal with situations that in a more appropriate manner. That's what hopefully will come about there. Who knows what's going to happen?

Q. Have you ever trained with Jim Courier before?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, we've trained. Not for a long period of time with just us like this will probably be. It should be fun for us. We've always gotten along well. Spent a pretty good amount of time together. This will hopefully be a good training situation for us. He's looking for some of my -- I think some of the older players, I like being around them. They have experience, wisdom. I think some of them like to be around me. I bring -- they've done this for a while. They go through lulls where it's not as exciting or entertaining. I'm fun. I'm entertaining. Exciting to have that kind of youth and energy out there. That's what I think my practice with Jim is, and the Davis Cup team is. You have two guys that have been around and have played a lot of tennis. Have you two guys that are really young, going to be really excited, but a little bit green. We can rub off on each other.

Q. How long have you been training with Jim Courier?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: We've been friends ever since we've been on the tour. We've practiced a lot at tournaments, played on Fisher Island. This will be pretty intense, one-on-one practicing. We'll practice for about a week, week and a half before we go to Milwaukee.

Q. Do you see yourself sitting down with Jim after dinner one night and saying, "Tell me about Davis Cup, what do I need to know to get through these three days without losing control of myself, getting the maximum out of my ability"?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, definitely. I think there will be a lot of sit-downs with me with people, whether its me talking to Jim, Todd, Gully, but definitely with other people I respect, whether it's Paul Annacone who has been through it, some of the other players, Alex O'Brien, other guys that have played and been through it. I'm not afraid to seek out help and do whatever I need to do to prepare in order to play my best.

Q. Is Jim going to put you up at his place?


Q. You have to wash the dishes?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I don't know what kind of penance we'll work out. I'm sure there will be some kind.

End of FastScripts….

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