home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 31, 1997

Justin Gimelstob

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. How would you describe the experience?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: It was a great experience. Hopefully I can learn a lot from that. He's a great player. You know, I think that's exactly what I need to learn from that kind of experience. How to deal with situations like that. He played too well.

Q. What about the atmosphere part of it and the crowd?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, it was great. I mean, it was great. I mean, everyone was so supportive. I really appreciated it. It was, you know, an electric atmosphere. It's phenomenal. Can't wait to come back next year. That's the most disappointing part of it, you don't get to experience that for another year.

Q. Are you disappointed or more exhilarated from the whole experience?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: More disappointed. I'm disappointed for sure. I mean, I think I could take some positives out of the tournament, but as a whole, I'm disappointed.

Q. It looked like you were having a lot of fun out there, jumping up and down, getting into it.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, I was. I was having fun. That's one of the major reasons I play tennis, is I have fun. I was doing it out there till he started giving me a beating there at the end of the match. That wasn't too fun. But I was having fun. I think that's what it's meant to be out there.

Q. Can you talk about being up 5-3 and serving for the second set, what went wrong?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah. I didn't make too many first serves. He made some great shots. He didn't make any errors, you know. He didn't make any errors. First point I hit -- I missed the location on the second serve. He had a good return. I just missed a half volley. I don't even remember after that. He played a great game. That's why he's, you know, a successful pro. Didn't give me any free points. I didn't serve any aces or service winners. I didn't make as many first serves as I needed to. Before I knew it, the game was over. I rebounded and played a great game at 5-4 on his serve. Just missed breaking him.

Q. Do you think it changed there? When you lost that second set, did you feel any differently, lost any concentration or anything?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: No. I mean, I think I lost some momentum. He started picking up his game. He just ran with it.

Q. Your first serve was kind of going down towards the second or third set. Is that mechanics? Is that fatigue? What can you put your finger on?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I don't know. I mean, maybe I got a little more tired towards the end of the match. He was putting a lot of balls in play and was running me all over the place for a while. Maybe I got a little tired. I was happy with the way I served. I served some great; I served some bad; I served some in between. Overall, I was happy with the way I served. He just played better than I did.

Q. Everybody is talking about the popularity of tennis and the men's game being down right now. The way you played out there with the crowd supporting you, do you think in the future you could be the one to possibly bring it back up?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, possibly. I mean, hopefully. Hopefully I'll stay healthy and continue improving and have success. I think I have the kind of personality that people might gravitate towards, because I do like having a good time out there, entertain a little bit more. But, yeah, I think if my game follows, my results follow, I think the entertaining part will take care of itself.

Q. What do you see that you have to definitely work on to get your game to that next level?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Consistency. I mean, obviously consistency. I played some great tennis and I played some average tennis. So consistency. His game stayed very similar throughout the four sets. I had a lot of peaks and valleys. I think that's maturing. I have to mature.

Q. Do you think getting emotional like that, does that help you, hurt you while you're playing?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I don't know. I mean, sometimes it helps, I think, and sometimes it hurts. Sometimes I'm too exuberant and sometimes I'm too negative. I've got to find a happy balance.

Q. If you look at the Top 10, you don't see a lot of guys playing with that sort of exuberance all the time. Most of them are pretty controlled, concentrated, almost stoic in a sense. Do you feel in a way it might help you have more of an equilibrium in your game, or are you just going to follow your instincts?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I think it's important for me to be myself, but I also think it's important for me to, you know, learn and adapt. I think maybe it's a combination of me making sure that I'm not stifling my own personality, but also that I'm maintaining a strong degree of focus and concentration. I think I just have to learn how to do that.

Q. Is fatigue any factor for you? It's 12:30 now. You've played some long matches here this year. This was a late start, waiting around. Did that affect you at all?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Not really, no. My groin started bothering me towards the end, but that was just from him running me around like a yo-yo. I didn't even want to say that because I don't want that in the paper to contribute to anything. He just played better than I did.

Q. When you leave here, what's your best memory of this Open?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Just the support from the crowd, just the support. Just having that kind of energy behind me and having that kind of experience behind me, something I can learn from and hopefully build on.

Q. Any idea how many people you knew were watching you this time?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: How many I knew?

Q. How many people came?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I got 50 tickets. I'm sure many more people I was familiar with. A lot. A plethora, my word for the day.

Q. Do you feel like you kind of burst on the scene in an unprecedented way in this tournament?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Not really. I won a couple matches. I beat a couple good players. Not really. I mean, I think maybe some more people will get to know me because it was in a bigger setting. I mean, I think that hopefully my status grew and my confidence grew from the experience. I still think I have a ways to go.

Q. How tough is it to jump in from college to pro for you?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: It was pretty tough because the level of competition is so much stronger, the traveling, the life-style you have to get used to. It's a pretty big adjustment. It was a pretty big adjustment, took me a good three or four months to get used to it, then things started clicking a little bit more.

Q. Throughout this tournament, was what's going on with your brother on your mind at all? Was that a distraction?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: No. My little brother went to Cornell. Didn't really affect it at all. I think he's doing well there. He's got some classes going. Said he's got some good-looking girls in his dorm. I wasn't too concerned about him.

Q. Justin, you've obviously established yourself as an extremely witty guy. I say that not ironically. Were you a class clown? Is there a history of it in your family?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I never went to class, so I couldn't be a class clown. I think a lot of people in my family and my friends all kind of like me, sarcastic, just kind of fun loving. I mean, I wasn't the guy in the back taking notes 24-7, that's for sure. I was probably one of the more entertaining kids in class. You would have loved having me in class, that's for sure.

Q. Are you self-deprecating, too, would you say?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Am I self-deprecating?

Q. Is that part of your personality?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Pretty big word there.

Q. Second word for the day.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Can you define it so I can answer it?

Q. Do you feel like, for example, what made me think of that is the comment about something like this match was fore at the end of the sentence, the girls who dogged me those two years at UCLA, making fun of yourself.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I make fun of myself so people stop thinking I'm so arrogant, so I kind of do it to be a happy medium.

Q. You balance them out?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I balance out my extremely arrogant comments.

Q. Have you had a lot of pressure family-wise from what you've added, in particular, to play tennis? Do you love the sport?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, sure, I love the sport. My dad never played tennis in my life. There was no pressure on me to play tennis as a youngster. All there was pressure on me to do was to behave and do my schoolwork, compete hard. For the most part, I competed hard and did all my schoolwork. The behavior part was suspect. There was really no pressure on me. A lot of the pressure is self-imposed. I'm very competitive and I want to do as well as I can; I want to win; I want to keep improving. The most pressure I feel is from myself. When you go to bed at night, you realize you're all alone, you better be doing the stuff do you for yourself. That's what I do. When I close my eyes tonight, I'm going to be the one that's bumming that I just lost tonight. That's what I have to deal with. Most of the pressure I feel is from myself.

Q. Are you at all conscious of being a Jewish athlete and/or tennis player? It struck me even before I realized that you were associated with Harold Solomon, Brian Teacher, is it, and Jay Berger, I just found out. You mentioned Brad Gilbert. I was conscious of it before that. I was curious if that was something that was an issue at all, or you're totally assimilated, not an issue?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah. My mom is Catholic, actually. I don't know if you guys knew that.

Q. So you're not technically Jewish?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Well, I mean, I don't know technically.

Q. What church do you go to?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I was brought up, sometimes going to church, sometimes go to synagogue. I guess I could milk the Jewish part when it favors to. I don't really think of it either way, from a religious standpoint, doesn't really go through my mind. I think it's nice being -- I pretty much consider myself not half and half, like this half Jewish, this half Catholic. Doesn't go through my mind. It's not really relative. I just try and live by a certain standard, morals. I don't really think about the religious part of it too much. Religion never really phases into it.

Q. How much has the USTA helped you throughout your youth career up until now?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Tremendous amount. I was part of the USTA player development program, I was on the national team all the way through. Now I'm on the rookie pro team. I live down in Key Biscayne so I practice there all the time. The USTA has had a tremendous and positive influence on my development.

Q. What about Jay and Nick?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Can't say enough good things about those guys. Knew Nick since I was ten. Helped me tremendously with me game. Known Jay for the last three years. Great influence on me. Great kid, great guy.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297