Brad Gilbert (born August 9, 1961) is a former professional tennis player and an American tennis coach. During his career, he won 20 singles titles and achieved a career-high singles ranking of world No. 4 in 1990, and a career-high doubles ranking of world No. 18 four years prior. He won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics, and both a gold medal and a silver medal at the 1981 Maccabiah Games.
|Country (sports)||United States|
|Born||August 9, 1961|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Turned pro||1982 (amateur tour from 1981)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Career record||519–288 (64.3%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 4 (January 1, 1990)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||4R (1984)|
|French Open||3R (1993)|
|US Open||QF (1987)|
|Tour Finals||SF (1987)|
|Grand Slam Cup||F (1990)|
|WCT Finals||F (1989)|
|Olympic Games||SF (1988)|
|Highest ranking||No. 18 (September 29, 1986)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1987)|
|French Open||2R (1987)|
|US Open||2R (1988)|
Since retiring from the tour, he has coached several top players, most notably Andre Agassi who won six of his eight Grand Slam titles under Gilbert's tutelage. Other players he has coached include Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, and Kei Nishikori.
Gilbert was born in Oakland, California, and is Jewish. He attended Piedmont High School, for which he starred in tennis, despite being 5-feet, 2-inches tall and weighing about 110 pounds, and reaching only 5-foot-7 and 115 pounds by graduation. His father Barry Gilbert was a high school history teacher, and then started a real estate firm.
Gilbert played tennis for Foothill College, a junior college in Los Altos Hills, California, from 1980–82, where he was coached by Tom Chivington. During this time, he won the California Junior College Singles Championship and the U.S. Amateur Hardcourt Championship. In 1981, Gilbert became a member of the American Junior Davis Cup team. He competed for the US in the 1981 Maccabiah Games in Israel, losing in the men's singles finals to Israeli Shlomo Glickstein, but winning a gold medal in doubles with Jon Levine over fellow Americans Rick Meyer and Paul Bernstein.
Gilbert joined the professional tour in 1982 and won his first top-level singles title later that year in Taipei. His first doubles title came at the 1985 Tel Aviv Open, with Ilie Năstase, as he also won the singles championship.
Gilbert won a total of 20 top-level singles titles during his career, the biggest being the Cincinnati Masters tournament in 1989. He was also runner-up in a further 20 singles events, including Cincinnati in 1990, where he lost to six-time Grand Slam champion Stefan Edberg, and the Paris Masters in 1987 and 1988.
Gilbert's most successful year on the tour was 1989, during which he won five singles titles, including Cincinnati, where he beat four future Hall of Famers to claim the title: Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg.
Gilbert's best performances at Grand Slam tournaments were in the Quarterfinals of the 1987 US Open, losing to Jimmy Connors and in the quarterfinals of the 1990 Wimbledon Championships, losing to Boris Becker. He was also runner-up at the inaugural Grand Slam Cup in 1990.
Gilbert was ranked among the top-ten players in the U.S. for nine of his first ten years on the professional tour. His career win-loss record in singles play was 519–288.
Among his upsets of players ranked in the world's top 3 were his defeat of No. 2 Boris Becker, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4, in Cincinnati in 1989, No. 2 Edberg, 7–6, 6–7, 6–4, in Los Angeles in 1991, No. 3 Sampras, 6–3, 6–4, in London in 1992, and No. 3 Jim Courier, 6–4, 6–4, at Memphis in 1994, Edberg, 6–4, 2–6, 7–6, in Cincinnati in 1989, and perhaps most significantly, No. 2 John McEnroe, 5–7, 6–4, 6–1, at the Masters Grand Prix in 1985, which sent McEnroe into his first six-month break from tennis.
Style of playEdit
Unlike many other professional players of his era, Gilbert did not have a major offensive weapon such as an overpowering serve or forehand. His best asset was his ability to keep the ball in play. He hit the ball most often at a slow but accurate pace and was sometimes called a pusher. In his 2002 autobiography, John McEnroe called Gilbert a pusher and claimed that Gilbert had the ability to bring talented players down to his type of game. In addition, McEnroe stated that Gilbert was the most negative person he had ever played tennis against, and he was riled by Gilbert's alleged non-stop tirades against himself while playing.
Gilbert kept an open stance and did not make many turns when at the baseline. This enabled him to control the game through oversight and tempo, despite his defensive style. He built his game around destroying his opponent's rhythm. He forced his opponent into long rallies by hitting the ball high over the net and deep into his opponent's court. If an opponent employed a slow pace, Gilbert attacked decisively, often at the net. He was one of the sport's top strategists as a player. Although he was easy to get along with outside the court, Gilbert was a fierce competitor with a sometimes annoying style of play, focusing on his opponent's weaknesses. Both his style of play and his mental approach brought him wins over the world's top players and kept him near the top 10 for six years.
ATP career finalsEdit
Singles: 40 (20 wins, 20 losses)Edit
|Win||1.||1982||Taipei, Taiwan||Carpet (i)||Craig Wittus||6–1, 6–4|
|Win||2.||1984||Columbus, U.S.||Hard||Hank Pfister||6–3, 3–6, 6–3|
|Loss||1.||1984||San Francisco, U.S.||Hard (i)||John McEnroe||4–6, 4–6|
|Win||3.||1984||Taipei, Taiwan||Carpet (i)||Wally Masur||6–3, 6–3|
|Win||4.||1985||Livingston, U.S.||Hard||Brian Teacher||7–6, 6–4|
|Win||5.||1985||Cleveland, U.S.||Hard||Brad Drewett||6–3, 6–2|
|Loss||2.||1985||Stuttgart Outdoor, Germany||Clay||Ivan Lendl||4–6, 0–6|
|Loss||3.||1985||Johannesburg, South Africa||Hard||Matt Anger||4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 2–6|
|Win||6.||1985||Tel Aviv, Israel||Hard||Amos Mansdorf||6–3, 6–2|
|Win||7.||1986||Memphis, U.S.||Hard (i)||Stefan Edberg||7–5, 7–6(7–3)|
|Win||8.||1986||Livingston, U.S.||Hard||Mike Leach||6–2, 6–2|
|Win||9.||1986||Tel Aviv, Israel||Hard||Aaron Krickstein||7–5, 6–2|
|Win||10.||1986||Vienna, Austria||Hard (i)||Karel Nováček||3–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–0|
|Loss||4.||1987||Washington DC., U.S.||Hard||Ivan Lendl||1–6, 0–6|
|Win||11.||1987||Scottsdale, U.S.||Hard||Eliot Teltscher||6–2, 6–2|
|Loss||5.||1987||Tel Aviv, Israel||Hard||Amos Mansdorf||6–3, 3–6, 4–6|
|Loss||6.||1987||Paris Masters, France||Carpet (i)||Tim Mayotte||6–2, 3–6, 5–7, 7–6(7–5), 3–6|
|Loss||7.||1987||Johannesburg, South Africa||Hard (i)||Pat Cash||6–7(7–9), 6–4, 6–2, 0–6, 1–6|
|Win||12.||1988||Tel Aviv, Israel||Hard||Aaron Krickstein||4–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–2|
|Loss||8.||1988||Paris Masters, France||Carpet (i)||Amos Mansdorf||3–6, 2–6, 3–6|
|Win||13.||1989||Memphis, U.S.||Hard (i)||Johan Kriek||6–2, 6–2, ret.|
|Loss||9.||1989||Dallas WCT, U.S.||Carpet (i)||John McEnroe||3–6, 3–6, 6–7(3–7)|
|Loss||10.||1989||Washington DC., U.S.||Hard||Tim Mayotte||6–3, 4–6, 5–7|
|Win||14.||1989||Stratton Mountain, U.S.||Hard||Jim Pugh||7–5, 6–0|
|Win||15.||1989||Livingston, U.S.||Hard||Jason Stoltenberg||6–4, 6–4|
|Win||16.||1989||Cincinnati Masters, U.S.||Hard||Stefan Edberg||6–4, 2–6, 7–6(7–5)|
|Win||17.||1989||San Francisco, U.S.||Hard (i)||Anders Järryd||7–5, 6–2|
|Loss||11.||1989||Orlando, U.S.||Hard||Andre Agassi||2–6, 1–6|
|Win||18.||1990||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Carpet (i)||Jonas Svensson||6–1, 6–3|
|Win||19.||1990||Orlando, U.S.||Hard||Christo van Rensburg||6–2, 6–1|
|Loss||12.||1990||Cincinnati Masters, U.S.||Hard||Stefan Edberg||1–6, 1–6|
|Win||20.||1990||Brisbane, Australia||Hard||Aaron Krickstein||6–3, 6–1|
|Loss||13.||1990||Grand Slam Cup, Munich||Carpet (i)||Pete Sampras||3–6, 4–6, 2–6|
|Loss||14.||1991||San Francisco, U.S.||Carpet||Darren Cahill||2–6, 6–3, 4–6|
|Loss||15.||1991||Los Angeles, U.S.||Hard||Pete Sampras||2–6, 7–6(7–5), 3–6|
|Loss||16.||1991||Sydney Indoor, Australia||Hard (i)||Stefan Edberg||2–6, 2–6, 2–6|
|Loss||17.||1992||Scottsdale, U.S.||Hard||Stefano Pescosolido||0–6, 6–1, 4–6|
|Loss||18.||1993||San Francisco, U.S.||Hard (i)||Andre Agassi||2–6, 7–6(7–4), 2–6|
|Loss||19.||1993||Tokyo Outdoor, Japan||Hard||Pete Sampras||2–6, 2–6, 2–6|
|Loss||20.||1994||Memphis, U.S.||Hard (i)||Todd Martin||4–6, 5–7|
Grand Slam singles performance timelineEdit
|Australian Open||A||A||1R||4R||3R||NH||3R||A||A||A||3R||1R||A||A||1R||0 / 7||6–7||46.2%|
|French Open||A||A||1R||2R||1R||A||2R||A||A||A||1R||1R||3R||2R||A||0 / 8||5–8||38.5%|
|Wimbledon||A||A||3R||3R||1R||4R||3R||A||1R||QF||3R||3R||2R||2R||A||0 / 11||19–11||63.3%|
|US Open||A||2R||1R||2R||3R||4R||QF||2R||1R||3R||1R||4R||4R||A||A||0 / 12||20–12||62.5%|
|Win–Loss||0–0||1–1||2–4||6–4||3–4||6–2||8–4||1–1||0–2||6–2||4–4||5–4||6–3||2–2||0–1||0 / 38||50–38||56.8%|
Halls of FameEdit
Gilbert is also a 1999 inductee into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame.
Gilbert was a 2001 inductee into the Marblehead Boosters Hall of Fame.
Gilbert retired as a player in 1995. Since 1994, he has been successful as a tennis coach. This success has often been associated with the extraordinary tactical abilities exhibited during his own matches.
Gilbert was the coach of Andre Agassi for eight years, from March 1994 until January 2002. Agassi won six of his eight majors when Gilbert was his coach. Agassi described Gilbert as "the greatest coach of all time".
On June 3, 2003, Gilbert became the coach of Andy Roddick, who won the 2003 US Open under Gilbert's guidance, as well as clinching the year-end world no. 1 for 2003 and reaching the 2004 Wimbledon final. They parted ways on December 12, 2004.
On July 26, 2006, Gilbert was announced as taking over the coaching duties of Scottish player Andy Murray. As well as coaching Murray, Gilbert took part, pursuant to a 3-year deal, in other British Lawn Tennis Association programmes, including tennis camps at under-12 and under-14 levels. He also worked with the LTA's network of coaches and its high-performance clubs and academies. On November 14, 2007, after 16 months working together, Gilbert and Murray parted company. By then, Murray had reached a then career-high ranking of no. 8.
In November 2007 it was announced that Gilbert would work for 20 weeks in 2008 for Britain's Lawn Tennis Association, concentrating mostly on coaching Britain's no. 2, Alex Bogdanović, and others in his age group. Bogdanović said he was "unbelievably excited" at the chance of spending time with Gilbert. Roger Draper, the LTA's chief executive, said: "We have set Brad a new challenge of getting Alex into the top 100 and also 'upskilling' our coaches and inspiring the next generation to follow in Andy's footsteps."
While still being committed to his TV items, in December 2010 it was announced that Gilbert would return to coaching, and partner with Kei Nishikori of Japan for 15 tournaments in the 2011 season. Gilbert's partnership with Nishikori concluded at the end of the 2011 season.
Gilbert now serves as a tennis analyst for ESPN. He is also the author of the book Winning Ugly, which gives tips on how an average player can defeat a more skilled opponent and better the average player's mental game. His second book, co-authored by James Kaplan and entitled I've Got Your Back, was published in 2005.
While commentating Andy Murray's third-round match in the 2011 Australian Open for ESPN2, Gilbert mentioned that he lives near the Olympian runner Michael Johnson and that when he was Murray's coach he introduced Johnson and Murray, who did a series of sprints together on a nearby track.
- "Argentina's Diego Schwartzman reaches top 20 in world tennis rankings". February 28, 2018.
- "Big sister, look what you've done". January 9, 2008.
- "Tennis star Gilbert being inducted into Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame". April 28, 2019.
- "Photos: Former tennis star Brad Gilbert selling Bay Area mansion". November 30, 2017.
- ""Brad Gilbert" – Maccabi USA". Archived from the original on October 19, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- Doyle, Jim (January 9, 2004). "Tennis sensei-tion / Brad Gilbert, coach to the top players, is a master at serving advice". SFGate.
- Slater, Robert (September 21, 2000). Great Jews in Sports. J. David Publishers. ISBN 9780824604332 – via Google Books.
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- Denizet-Lewis, Benoit (June 27, 2004). "Brad Gilbert Talks a Great Game" – via NYTimes.com.
- Benoit Denizet-Lewis (June 27, 2004). "Brad Gilbert Talks a Great Game". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- Brad Gilbert at the Davis Cup
- USTA Northern California Hall of Fame Archived July 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Correspondent, J. (September 18, 2003). "celebrity Jews in the news".
- "CSTV.com: #1 in College Sports". Archived from the original on April 25, 2007. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
- ITA Men's Hall of Fame. Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
- "Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Home". scjewishsportshof.com.
- Marblehead Marblehead Boosters Club Hall of Fame Archived October 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Tennis players – Brad Gilbert". Tennis – ATP World Tour official site.
- Halley, Jim (August 3, 2006). "Gilbert coaching teen Murray, over firing by Roddick". USA Today. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- "Murray splits with coach Gilbert". BBC News. November 14, 2007.
- Harman, Neil (November 20, 2007). "Brad Gilbert gives Alex Bogdanovic rallying call to reach potential". The Times. London. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- Newman, Paul (November 19, 2007). "After Murray, Gilbert moves on to coach Bogdanovic, the world No 161". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- "News - ATP World Tour - Tennis".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Brad Gilbert to work with Sam Querrey on trial basis". TennisNow. February 20, 2012.
- Jamison, Steve; Brad Gilbert (1994). Winning Ugly : Mental Warfare in Tennis—Lessons from a Master. New York: Fireside. ISBN 0-671-88400-X.
- Andre Agassi; Brad Gilbert; Kaplan, James (2005). I've Got Your Back : Coaching Top Performers from Center Court to the Corner Office. Portfolio Trade. ISBN 1-59184-095-3.
- , The JC
- Gilbert, Brad (1994). Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis—Lessons from a Master. Fireside. ISBN 0-671-88400-X.
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