August 31, 1997
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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