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August 28, 2000

Justin Gimelstob


MODERATOR: Questions for Justin.

Q. Can you refresh us on how many aces you had at Wimbledon?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I had 30 in my first match. I think I had more today.

Q. You had 34 today. Is that a personal best?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I think it is, yeah.

Q. Not bad.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: That's a good stat. That's a lot of aces.

Q. Coming into the tournament, your attitude wasn't too high, you were having trouble with most everybody. How do you feel now?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Well, I mean, I was more disappointed that I got injured because I felt like my progress was going really well. I mean, I played well in LA, I played well in the challenger the week after that. I got hurt in the finals, then I couldn't play. I was more disappointed. I had confidence that my form could have been good. I was bummed out that it wasn't. It just wasn't meant to be. I played the Hamlet, was ill-prepared. I was frustrated. I worked my butt off this week with my coach and trainer, just tried to prepare as best as I could. I started off slow, felt similar to how difficult it was in the Hamlet. I think the rain delay helped me, settled me down. I talked to my coach and trainer. I felt like, you know, I came out with more of a game plan, playing better tennis.

Q. Who are the coach and trainer?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: David Nainkin is my coach, and Steve Bianco (phonetic) is my new trainer, the trainer I've been working with in New Jersey, and my physical trainer David Kitchell (phonetic), has done a really good job with my back.

Q. How is Chris doing?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: He actually had back surgery.

Q. One or two surgeries? Just one?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: He had one major surgery.

Q. Going to be off for quite awhile?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: He's going to be off for a while, yeah.

Q. How long have you been with David Nainkin?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: We've been working together since the clay court season, so I think about four months. I really like working with him.

Q. Why?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Well, he's younger. I think he understands my game. I felt like he understood it from the beginning. He understands the things I go through mentally. He understands what I need to do physically. He's younger, and he does all the work with me, which makes it easier to do, as opposed to someone telling you to do the work. When they do it with you, it makes it more manageable.

Q. What was your feeling at the end of the first set?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: The rain delay, I felt like, you know, I was in a bad frame of mind. I was so disappointed. My confidence was low. That rain delay was very helpful.

Q. What was your comment to the designated tournament referee?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I was shocked. I mean, I know I lost it there, but I was shocked that they wouldn't just ask the girl what happened. Just ask her, "Did you get intimidated?" The ball was in by that much (indicating). It's tough when you're in a tough match. Plus, I would have been 35 aces (smiling). I'm taking 35.

Q. When you speak of aces, in the tiebreaker, fourth point, was that a designated go-for-broke?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah. I felt like he returns well. I felt like I had to come up with good serves. I was confident. When you're confident on your serve, you feel like you can go for more. You feel where it's going better.

Q. Then the next play, you missed an easy one.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: My gosh, I don't know what happened. With the volley?

Q. Yes.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I don't know. I hit a great approach. It was too easy. I felt like maybe I should go shake his hand, it was done. It's never over out there. I didn't really choke. It's not like I was nervous. It was just too easy. I don't know what happened.

Q. Same thing on the high volley earlier in the set?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: High volley? You know, it's one of those things where you don't know to hit it or not. Indecisiveness is what usually ends up leading to errors. Looked like it might be going out, running for the ball, didn't know if I was going to hit it. I did a good job of still holding serve that year.

Q. Is the grandstand a good court for you?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I like it. It's intimate. I've played on it a few times, played well.

Q. Who did you beat there?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Beat Magnus Gustafsson in a five-set match there. I beat --.

Q. Prinosil?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: No, that was an outside court. Who else did I beat there? I don't remember. I like playing on that court.

Q. This is the only Slam you have a winning record. 6-4 now. Is it the crowd that gets you up?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I think I'm going to refute that. Hold on, just give me a second. I think I might be 500 at Wimbledon. Well, I suck on clay. I've been hurt at the Australian. I feel pretty good at Wimbledon and the US Open.

Q. You were less demonstrative than you may have been in the past.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: When you used to see me in college, when I was a psycho?

Q. You were emotional in college?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I think it's maturity. I've been like this for a while now. I've been more centered and less, you know, demonstrative for a while now. I just think it's something that's maturity, learning how to compete, trying to focus my energy a little more, not waste so much energy. It's something that I've moved toward for a while.

Q. What do you think about these draws that you've been getting in Wimbledon and the US Open? Is it upsetting?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Not at all. Look, you could play these guys. That's part of it, why you have to be seeded. But, you know, it would be nicer not to have to play the best players or the highest-ranked players always. You know, I think it's just luck. It evens out over the course of a career. I've always believed that. You get some good draws and you get some bad draws. You do well with some bad draws, and you do poorly with some good draws, and vice versa. It's tough to predict. It doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Q. This guy came out and camped on your backhand the first set. You didn't deal with that very well. You got your first break with the backhand down the line. Do something different with that ball?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: You know, most of my game stems around my movement. I feel like I have a very good backhand. I was just out of position a lot. I just felt like I needed to get moving a little bit, be more athletic. I think I was a little nervous. That actually shows up most in my movement. I just wasn't moving out there. I wasn't in position a lot. I think that's what had to do with the slow start.

Q. Jan-Michael has had a pretty good run this summer, Wimbledon quarter, Davis Cup team, LA final, now mixed doubles with Hingis. Do all his great successes, modest successes, does that stimulate you in some way?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Well, he's definitely done well. He's playing well. I've always said that -- other guys doing well motivate you to work harder and get going. I think it's a healthy -- it's a healthy motivating factor to see one of your peers do well. Jan-Michael is a good kid. He works hard. The sport is hard enough that, you know, I respect guys that do well and are playing well and winning matches. Seeing guys your age doing well is motivating.

Q. Do you have the dehydration problem under control?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I think so. I played three hours out there, felt pretty good. You know, it's okay. I've gotten in really good shape, worked really hard with my trainer. It's just a matter of working hard. I don't think it's brain surgery or anything. I feel like I've gotten in as good of shape as I could have. I had to take ten days off when I was in the best shape of my life a week before the US Open. That's not easy to do. I keep working hard. There's nothing you can do.

Q. Do you feel you have a better chance against Pete on the hard court than you would have had on the grass?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah. I mean, I think it's probably equal. I mean, I think Wimbledon, my chances were pretty good because he was hurt. Here I think that I'm playing better, and it's a surface I'm more comfortable on, so it's probably even, about the same.

Q. (Question regarding noticing a woman in the Royal Box at Wimbledon.)

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I was really focused at Wimbledon. I feel like I was actually misquoted there. All I said was that I saw a really cute girl sitting behind the box next to Borg, before the match. During the match, I didn't see jack.

Q. You didn't say once you saw Borg there, you didn't have a chance?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I said that, but before the match. The match hadn't started when I saw her. I thought, before the match, "That girl is looking good." Then I saw Borg, just focused over a couple feet. I said, "Well, don't have to worry about that. I'm not going to win six Wimbledons out here today, so it doesn't really matter."

Q. Could you rank your courts, Centre Court, Arthur Ashe Court, or Strauss at UCLA?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I have a lot more reps on Strauss court at UCLA. I feel a little more comfortable out there. I have played a match or two out on center here, have practiced on it a few times. Fairly comfortable.

Q. You mentioned Gambill being a contemporary. This ATP marketing, the new balls --?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: ATP or regarding him in it?

Q. You're a part of that.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: He's done better than I have so far. I have no problem acknowledging that. That's just fact at this point. I mean -- I don't think it will be a problem marketing me once I start doing better. I mean, I feel like my personality holds its own. You know, he deserves it. He deserves to be getting a lot of press, the whole deal. Obviously, you know, it's been established that he's a good-looking kid, he's a good tennis player, he's American. I understand that. I also know that I'm American, I'm a good tennis player, and I'm definitely a pretty good-looking kid (laughter). I don't have a problem with that either.

Q. What's the best part to come back and play The Open and what's the worst part?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: The worst part is when I'm getting my butt kicked out there, and I don't give my friends anything to cheer me on about. The good things are, I get great support. It's fun to play well in that situation. I feel confident on hard courts. It's pretty close to my home. I grew up watching the US Open since I was eight years old. I was the kid trying to sneak in the locker room, scalping tickets out on the board walk there, the whole deal. The US Open, New York, I'm an East Coast guy, it's just my personality. I think people can relate to it.

Q. What kind of results did you get out on the board walk?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I never got arrested, so that's a good start.

Q. You don't live far from Roddick. Are you training with him?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I've only hit with Andy Roddick once, last year here. I've been impressed by his results.

Q. In Florida?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Never practiced with him in Florida.

Q. The fact that you live nearby.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I haven't spent a lot of time there. I've been on the road a lot. I'm impressed by his results, Taylor Dent's results, Mardy Fish, I think Phillip King is a good young player. The kids are doing all right.

Q. Fish is also living down there. Do you see yourself bonding in a sort of tennis sense with those guys, training when you're down there?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, bonding. I feel like I'm a little older than they are. I feel like I'll try to be helpful to them like the older generation was to me. Jim Courier, Todd Martin were always great to me. Not that I was at their level relative to the other kids, but if they want to listen to what it's been like for me on the tour, I try and be helpful supportive of the younger guys.

Q. Going back to the match. Fourth set, it was a tough set, had to break.

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Horrific call.

Q. You end up with the two aces at the end of the 12th game. Was it a confidence builder going into the tiebreaker? Did you think you were going to have it?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, it's good to have a good rhythm on your serve when you go into the tiebreaker. Yeah, I felt good on my serve going into the tiebreaker. I actually made a mental note. For some reason I've done great in tiebreakers in practice this week. I practiced a lot of tiebreakers. On a fast court like this, you think you'll be playing some tiebreakers. For some weird reason, I've actually done pretty well on them. I actually made a mental note of that and felt confident if I get into a breaker - after I got hosed on that call in the middle of the fourth.

Q. Two against Philippoussis?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Two against Philippoussis, yeah.

Q. The Jewish question. Have you ever faced Paul Goldstein or Harel Levy?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: No. Played Paul Goldstein in LA, but he got hurt and had to retire. Harel Levy and Paul are definitely getting the Jewish community more excited about tennis, the post-Mansdorf era.

Q. Would you look forward to a show-down with either of those two guys?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I mean, them and -- I've got enough to worry about myself. I mean, it's nice to see them doing well. I've known Paul forever. He falls into a bit of the same area as Gambill in terms of motivating, seeing him do so well. Maybe the Israelis won't be all over me for donations now that one of their own is doing well.

Q. Are you voting for Joe Lieberman?

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I don't get into politics.

End of FastScripts….

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