Jan-Michael is playing an exhibition tournament in Spartanburg, South Carolina this week. Here's an article about him from the local paper:
Article published Apr 25, 2008
Gambill ousted from Invitational
Seasoned pro came to Spartanburg for relaxing atmosphere
By Matt Cobbs
Published: Friday, April 25, 2008 | Updated: 2:35 pm
Jan-Michael Gambill had never been to either of the Carolinas prior to being invited to this week’s Country Club of Spartanburg Pro Tennis Invitational.
That’s saying something for an accomplished and well-traveled player like Gambill. He’s ascended to as high as No. 14 in the world rankings and defeated “pretty much everybody you can name in the world.”
That list includes Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
Gambill, 30, is on the back end of his playing career. Nagging injuries have slowed — but never kept — him down. He arrived in Spartanburg hoping for a few days of solid play and fun.
“I like this atmosphere. It’s friendly,” said Gambill, who’s played for the U.S. Davis Cup team. “It’s a completely different atmosphere from a regular ATP tour event … just a nice place to get a few matches in and play some good tennis.”
His visit ended up being shorter than expected. After defeating Adam Thompson 6-2, 6-1 in the round of 32 Thursday morning, Gambill was ousted in the afternoon by Marcus Sarstrand, 7-6, 6-3.
Sarstrand, a finalist in last year’s event, plays Andreas Siljestrom at 9 a.m. today.
Gambill was concerned having to play two matches in one day. And, in fact, a recurring back injury flared up after his win against Thompson. But, again, he had a plan for the week, regardless of how many matches he won.
“To be honest, there’s not as much on the line here as an ATP tour event,” Gambill said. “Here if you lose, there are a couple open bars and some great parties to go.”
That’s Gambill in a nutshell. Though tennis has always been his occupation, it’s never defined every aspect of his life.
Gambill is as well known for his good looks as he is for his two-handed forehand — a rarity for a professional tennis player. He’s done some modeling and was once selected as one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World.”
But that’s not all.
Gambill also collects Jaguar automobiles, lives in Hawaii and is a self-proclaimed Star Trek addict, or “Trekkie.” He’s a close friend of William Shatner and plans to pursue an acting career.
“I’m going out to Los Angeles next month to try to pursue (acting) more seriously,” Gambill said. “I’ve studied it a bit and been on the set of a few different things. But I’ve never given it 100 percent.”
He hopes to sit in on a taping of his favorite show “Boston Legal” — Shatner is one of the main stars.
A native of Spokane, Wash., Gambill also spent time living in Maui growing up. He knew then that he wanted to make Hawaii his home some day. Because of his success in tennis and elsewhere, he was able to make that dream a reality within the past few years.
“I always knew I wanted to live there, and it finally happened,” Gambill said. “I liked the vibe and culture. It’s all become very important to me. It’s a totally different place to live than anywhere in the United States.”
Gambill began playing tennis when he was 5 years old. He modeled his game after former American stars Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. He turned pro in 1996 and experienced the highlight of his career two years later, defeating Agassi in the quarterfinals of a Masters Series event in Indian Wells, Calif.
“I ended up reaching the semis and making the top 100 (in the rankings) for the first time,” Gambill said. “I played (Agassi) very tough a couple weeks before. It was a big deal, facing him in front of a packed house. Just a magical moment and probably still my best one.”
Gambill, a three-time winner on the ATP tour, wants to continue playing full-time for a couple more years — providing his body will allow it. He’s had nagging problems with his shoulders, shin and back.
“I’ve done a lot of good things, and I’d like to keep playing some more,” Gambill said. “I’m definitely a perfectionist in life. I’d rather not be (playing) than be out there at 90 percent. That’s not going to win you matches against guys like Federer and (Andy) Roddick.”
CCS PRO INVITATIONAL
Tough day for higher seeds
Thursday proved to be a tough day for the top seeds in the Country Club of Spartanburg Pro Tennis Invitational.
University of Tennessee standout Robert Cameron upset Justin Gimelstob, 6-3, 7-5. Gimelstob, the No. 1 seed, was the 1998 Australian Open and French Open mixed doubles champion — playing alongside Venus Williams in each.
Second seed Jan-Michael Gambill, a former top 20-ranked player, lost to Marcus Sarstrand, 7-6, 6-3.
Third seed Taylor Dent, a four-time ATP winner, withdrew from the tournament with a back injury. Dent won his morning match against Greenville’s John Chesworth (6-7, 6-2, 7-6) but had to pull out during his afternoon match when his back flared up.
Pat Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion, needed three sets but got the win against Gregory Beers (3-6, 6-2, 6-0) in the evening’s feature match.
Cash plays Cameron at 10 a.m. today.
— Matt Cobbs/Staff
Parking: Fans planning to attend should park in the designated lot adjacent to the main country club building.
Round of 32
Jan Michael Gambill (2) d. Adam Thompson, 6-2, 6-1
Alexander Reichel d. Freddy Azucey, 7-6(0), 6-2
Gregory Beers d. Chris Waters, 6-2, 6-2
Taylor Dent (3) d. John Chesworth, 6-7(0), 6-2, 7-6(2)
Brett Ross d. Adam Fass, 7-6(4), 6-2
Todd Widom (6) d. Milan Pokrajac, 6-3, 7-5
Raian Luchici d. Jhonson Garcia, 6-3, 6-3
Scott Oudsema d. Eduardo Rincon, 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5
Victor Estrella (5) d. Deigo Sist, 6-1, 6-1
Julio Peralta d. Oren Montevassel, 6-1, 6-2
Ryler DeHeart (4) d. Evgeny Slesarev, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
W. Brad Pomeroy d. Nathan Healey, 7-6(1), 6-0
Andres Siljestrom d. Artem Sitak, (7) 6-3, 6-2
Marcus Sarstrand d. G.D. Jones
Robert Cameron d. Justin Gimelstob, (1) 6-2, 7-5
Round of 16
Sarstrand d. Gambill (2), 7-6(6), 6-2
Ross d. Dent, (3) 2-1 retired
Widom d. Luchici, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
Estrella d. Oudsema, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
DeHeart d. Peralta, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2
Siljestrom d. Pomeroy, 6-4, 6-4
Pat Cash (8) d. Beers, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
Cameron d. Reichel, 6-4, 7-5