Justin Gimelstob was born January 26th, 1977 in New Jersey. He has two brothers - Joshua, the oldest, who played some college tennis at Tulane University and now teaches tennis at Center Court Tennis Club in Chatham, New Jersey. Russell, the youngest of the three brothers, played college tennis at Cornell University and now works for Dune Capital, a real estate investment firm in NYC. His parents, Barry and Patricia, live in New Vernon, New Jersey. Barry owns FBR Group, an insurance company, and his mother is a former school teacher who retired to raise her three boys.
Justin began playing tennis when he was 8 years old at the Center Court Tennis Club in Chatham, New Jersey. As a junior, he won National titles in an unprecedented three age groups - Easter Bowl 14’s in 1991, Easter Bowl 16’s in 1993, and Kalamazoo 18’s in 1995, a four set victory that earned him a wildcard into the US Open main draw. He graduated from Newark Academy in Livingston, New Jersey early so that he could play tennis for UCLA, leading the team to a runner up finish in the 1996 NCAA team championships, and winning the NCAA Doubles title with Srdjan Muskatirovic that same year. While at UCLA, Justin was an All-American in both singles and doubles, was the #1 ranked player in singles and doubles, and maintained the highest GPA (4.0) of any student athlete at UCLA. Immediately after the 1996 NCAA Championships, Justin decided to leave college and turn pro.
Justin reached a career high of #63 in singles and #17 in doubles on the ATP WorldTour. Justin’s career also includes winning 13 doubles titles, and consecutive Grand Slam mixed doubles titles at the 1998 Australian Open and French Open, both with Venus Williams. Justin advanced to the 3rd round at Wimbledon three times and the 3rd round of the US Open twice. He has career singles wins over Andre Agassi, Patrick Rafter, Michael Chang, Todd Martin, Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt, Petr Korda, James Blake, and Feliciano Lopez. In 2006, Gimelstob reached his first ATP Tour Singles Final at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, R.I. Justin was also an active member of the US Davis Cup Team for which he played in 1998 and 2001. He is perhaps best known for his athletic dive volleys on the grass at Wimbledon (and occasionally on hard courts), which prompted Dick Enberg to comment at the end of the 2005 Championships that 'Gimelstob made Wimbledon fun'. After enduring herniated disc problems in his lower back for years, Justin opted for surgery after the 2006 US Open. Despite intense training and physical therapy, the condition continued to hamper his movement and he reluctantly announced that he would retire from the tour after the 2007 season. He played his last two Slam matches against his good friend Andy Roddick, famously interviewing him on court after a primetime US Open match. A year later, he found a way to stay close to the game he loves so much when his former peers elected him to the ATP World Tour Board of Directors to fill one of two player representative seats for a two year term.
Now that he has retired from the ATP World Tour, Justin is making a transition into sports and entertainment broadcasting. He is in his second year of working for the Tennis Channel, broadcasting from the Slams including the US Open in 2009. He has previously completed on-air assignments for Fox Sports, ESPN, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Tennis.com Online, USOpen.org, TV Guide Channel, the CBS Early Show, and Extra. Justin is currently hosting and co-producing a show about life on the ATP World Tour called, "ATP World Tour Uncovered." He contributes to Tennis Magazine and Deuce - the ATP online magazine. He is the Pro Tour editor for Smash Tennis magazine, and wrote a column for SI.com for more than two years. Recently, he used his Twitter page as another avenue to reach out to tennis fans by 'commentweeting' during Roland Garros broadcasts and then 'tweeting by proxy' during a doubles match at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island.
In 1998, Justin founded the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund. Since its inception, the Fund has hosted events with the support of Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Lindsay Davenport, Todd Martin, Jim Courier, and many more, raising over 1 million dollars for children's charities including The Valerie Fund, an organization that supports children with cancer and other blood disorders.
Away from court and the broadcast booth, Justin is working to finish his degree at UCLA via online classes. He lives in Santa Monica, California and thinks it's the closest to heaven he might ever get. He still enjoys playing tennis whenever he can (privately, at exhibitions, and charity events), but he also plays basketball and golf, and cycles to stay in shape. He is an ardent believer in yoga and Pilates, and credits both with helping him to manage the chronic pain that ended his professional career.
He is addicted to his Ipod, TiVo and Blackberry and considers them to be some of the best inventions of all time. His favorite books include “The Last Lecture”, “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”, and “When Pride Still Mattered.” He loves watching movies, especially on long flights, and “Wedding Crashers”, “Old School”, “Without Limits”, and “Shawshank Redemption” are among his favorites. The TV shows that clog up his Tivo are, “The Office”, “Rescue Me”, and “30 Rock.” He likes all different types of music ranging from U2 and Bruce Springsteen, to James Blunt, Nora Jones, and Dido. His favorite color is purple (so what if men aren't supposed to admit that) and one of the quotes he tries to live by is “The saddest thing in life, is wasted potential.” He has always strived to be the best he can be in whatever he attempts, and he always will.
Justin's Tennis Career and Highlights
Justin's Media Career and Highlights