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August 28, 2007
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Justin, was what was the exchange in the, I think was the second set with the chair umpire? It was kind of funny.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: In between the first and second serves all the military people left the stands. It seemed pretty obvious to us that that would warrant a first-serve. I was in a no-win situation. If I served in the middle it would have been disrespectful; if I waited then he didn't want to give me a first serve.
But Andy was gracious and granted me a first serve, which I really used very effectively as I double -- actually quadruple faulted, I think, because I hit got a second serve and then I hit a let cord, and then I missed a couple more, so... worked out well.
Q. Justin, you know that you're done now; how do you feel?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah, first of all with both of us standing here, what would the odds I got the first two questions?
ANDY RODDICK: I like this.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Andy just asked me that actually, if I felt weird. My back started bothering me a little in the third set. In a weird way it kind of makes it easier. I know in my heart I can't play at this level anymore. It's hard enough to play at this level when I was healthy. I just can't really compete with these guys on a week-in and week-out basis. You know, I got -- you know, a bunch years, 12 years in my career, I got to play here a bunch of times.
Like I said, I did the best I could and obviously I would have liked to have done better, but I'm fine with leaving the game. I'm sure I'll miss it and miss experiences like this, but I won't miss a lot experiences that I had to go through to be able to play matches like this like playing if Uzbekistan and Seoul, Korea.
Q. Was there a high point in your career?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Just a lot averageness, I think. Yeah, I mean, I guess playing in the third round here against Agassi on Labor Day weekend I put up a good fight. Third round against Sampras I was up a set, 4-3. One good stat I have is 5-0 and five-set matches here at the US Open. I'm proud of that considering I usually cramp in the second set.
ANDY RODDICK: I was going to say.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Usually what I do when I get up two sets to Love is I tank the third and fourth and have just enough energy to hang on in the fifth.
ANDY RODDICK: Smart.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Little things. I'm proud of the fact that I came back from some significant injuries. If you look on paper, this year was a huge failure, but if you knew what I had to go through to be able play which ended up giving me the experiences to play Andy at Wimbledon and here at the US Open, I'll take those.
Q. Andy, how much fun is it to play against Justin, and how do you focus when you want to just laugh with everybody else?
ANDY RODDICK: It was a weird situation for me, kind of all day. Because, you know, I'm fond of Justin as a person, but at the same time this my most important event of the year. So as much as I would have loved to have kind of joined in and banter and do the whole thing, at the same time I felt like I had a job to do and something to accomplish out there.
I was struggling with the kind of give-and-take of the match.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: And I wanted to respect that. I knew that that's the case and I didn't want to make it joke out there. I really wanted to play as well as I could. It's tough because I did want to enjoy it. It's a tough combination because I have to keep my level up so high just to stay in a match with someone like Andy.
But I was very cognizant that this was going to be my last experience and I wanted it enjoy it. So it's not an easy ratio and I'm sure he felt the same way.
Q. Andy, great tiebreaker. Couple of great shots. One of the great things about this tournament is you can look up and see the shot a second time.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I hate that. I keep seeing the toss and seeing my flailing arm in yellow and orange up there. I can't believe they leave that thing on. Guess it doesn't matter to you, you just keep bombing aces but I just see flailing limbs up there.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: You look at your shots up there?
ANDY RODDICK: If I hit a good one.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: You want to see if I hit you on purpose on that one. It was three miles an hour.
ANDY RODDICK: It's okay. I got you the next game. I came back at you. No, I mean, it's, you know, you can't help but look up there sometimes. But I guess I'm kind of used to it. I've played out there enough times where it's not anything new.
Q. Andy, how would you describe Justin to someone who doesn't know him?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Sexy, a good kisser.
ANDY RODDICK: Funny.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Enjoys a good cuddle.
ANDY RODDICK: You got your answer, right? No, but at the heart of it all, you know, I think one of the things that we can all respect, even though he's about as self-deprecating as one can get -- and he kind of touched on it before -- but about thing the right way.
You are never had to worry about him not giving his all. He kind of got dealt some bad hands with injuries and stuff.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Genetics.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. And the fact that he's not very athletic played a part in that as well.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Agreed.
ANDY RODDICK: Even after his back surgery last year I remember we were in Hawaii and he couldn't really move his -- was it your left leg?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Right.
ANDY RODDICK: Right leg, that one. I mean, he was still out there trying to play and working hard. I think that's something that everyone can admire.
Q. Andy, Acasuso next. When you are playing somebody that you've had a tough match against before, do you personalize the match?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, Brick, at this point in my career I've probably had a tough match against most guys that I'm going to play.
Q. This one in particular.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he beat me on clay. That's weird. But I beat him on clay once pretty bad. I don't know if I personalize it. I got him pretty comfortably last year in Vienna first round. I feel if I play tennis the way that I can, then, you know, it's my match to win. That's kind of the attitude I'll take into it.
Q. Andy, how do you feel about how you played? Obviously your serve was excellent. What did you feel about the rest of your game?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel like from 5-3 down in the first set breaker I felt pretty solid and started making some returns and giving myself chances in points.
I feel like I could have cut down the errors a little bit from the baseline. But Justin makes it awkward just because the first ball you hit he's coming in and he's all arms and legs up there at the net, and kind of diving everywhere. You kind of feel that.
So it's definitely not a match where you're going get a lot of rhythm and a lot of chance to hit balls, but I got better as the match went on, which is, you know, better than the alternative.
Q. Justin, to be sure, is this officially your retirement, or can you see playing one more match?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Just to clarify, that this is my last US Open. I'm playing three tournaments in the fall.
ANDY RODDICK: You are? I thought that was it.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: No.
ANDY RODDICK: I would have been much more pissed off on court if I knew you were playing after this. I thought I finished you.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: My luck, I'm sure we'll play in the same tournament in the fall and I'll play you first round.
ANDY RODDICK: I thought I put you in the commentary booth.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I have three more protected ranking opportunities. If I wasn't such a greedy bastard I'd probably just hang it up here. Just I just really get three weeks more to be a professional tennis player and I get a lot of years to not.
So I just figured I wouldn't want to regret that somewhere later on, those three tournaments. I might as well play the three tournaments. The heart of it is I do enjoy playing. And to simplify it, I get to be a professional tennis player for a little bit longer. So I'll take that.
Q. What do you think you're going to do next?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I'm going to go back to UCLA. I went two years before I turned pro. I'd like to finish that just so I when tell my kids they need to go to school they don't say, Shut up dad. You dropped out.
I'd liked to some TV or at least try to and see if I'm good at it. I think going back to school kind of gives me the opportunity to buy some time and see what sticks in the couple years it takes me to graduate. I like writing my column. I'll keep doing that.
ANDY RODDICK: Are you going try to take Michael Bertrand's job.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: No.
ANDY RODDICK: You liar.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: But, you know, maybe travel with Andy as his gopher or something. We'll think of something.
Q. What are you majoring in?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Communications.
Q. Are you playing double here, mixed doubles?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Doubles and mixed doubles. Once again, see greedy bastard. Get a chance to play a couple more events and I'll play them. We'll see if they slip me in the seniors as well or something.
At this point I'll probably be playing in the wheelchair division at the end of the week.
Q. What other three are you playing in the fall?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Tokyo, Moscow. Where are you playing?
ANDY RODDICK: Go to Bangkok.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I can't. I got some charity thing. Probably Tokyo, Basel, Moscow or something.
Q. Will your back be manageable for the rest of your life?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: We'll see. There are some concerns for sure. Hopefully the lack of pounding, maybe find different ways to exercise and work out. It's definitely a concern. There's some problems in there.
Q. Have the doctors said that you might need additional surgery?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah. Depends on what kind of lifestyle I want to live. Being an athlete, hopefully I have a little bit more knowledge in securing the core area and all that stuff. Depends on what kind of lifestyle I want to live, which would be active.
For now I'm okay and I'll be able to stay away from that major surgery.
Q. Are there certain playing surfaces that are worse than others?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Probably clay is the less harmful to my back. Most harmful to my ego. But, you know, it's all just the pounding, you know, the hard surface. But we'll see how that goes. I mean, tough to say.
Q. Why do you love this game?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: I really believe that tennis is the most challenging, amazing sport. It's the one sport, you look at everything that combines -- it's individuals, combines physical and mentally, combines eye-hand coordination, is an international sport. I really think it's the most challenging sport.
I really think we have a shot at the sport coming back. If you look at the crowds out there I've never seen anything like it. They're killing the record books with the crowds here at the US Open.
ANDY RODDICK: Everywhere.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Yeah. So I really think we have a good product. We have obviously Federer and Nadal and Djokovic and Andy Roddick and James on the American side coming up. The game has a lot to offer, and it hurts me and bums me out sometimes when people don't recognize it.
I think we just have to get lucky and put it in the right situations and get some really bright people. Obviously like Arlen Kantarian has done with the USTA, we need to get them involved in other areas of the sport because they have shown what an incredible job they've done with this tournament and the US Open Series and use that as a model for maybe the rest of the tour.
But, you know, we have to show the people why it's an incredible sport. I think to commentators need to explain that the people that are ranked 80 and 90 in the world, just how great of a skill and how good they are.
Not just -- because it's all relative. You need to be positive and build the sport. The players need to support it. I think we have a great product out there. It's the only sport that I had any shot at being a professional athlete in.
Q. You grew up in New Jersey and know this tournament very well. You love playing in front of this crowd. Go back to your days in high school. How much had you dreamed about nights like this, playing in the US Open against a guy like Andy Roddick?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Sure. I been coming to this tournament since I was 8, 9 years old. Me and my brother. We used to try to figure out new ways to sneak in.
ANDY RODDICK: I actually have a story from when I was nine years old. How old are you?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Don't tell -- come on, not this, one. I don't even believe this happened.
ANDY RODDICK: It definitely happened. My brother and Justin grew up playing together.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: People don't know that Andy's brother is a very, very good player.
ANDY RODDICK: I was walking around the grounds and he was the only guy I had recognized in like four hours as far as people I might know, considering I been running around tournaments follow you guys for four years.
I walked up to him and I said Justin Gimelstob? And he said, Yeah, kid, you want an autograph?
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB: Deny, deny, deny. Let's just say I've matured. When I turn 80 I'm going to be a mature person.
ANDY RODDICK: I said no.
End of FastScripts