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
Gambill to play in YC tennis tourney
May 24, 2008 - 11:40PM
Jan-Michael Gambill, who has been ranked as high as 14th in the world, has received a main draw wild card entry into the $50,000 Sunset Moulding-Yuba City Racquet & Health Club Challenger tennis tournament.
The wild card designation allows Gambill direct acceptance into the 32-player main draw. In addition, up to 32 players will compete in the qualifying tournament June 1-2 to win a spot in the main draw.
Gambill's career includes 32 Grand Slam appearances as a singles player and 19 as a doubles player. He has recorded wins over Roger Federer, Carlos Moyà, Mark Philippoussis, Lleyton Hewitt, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
In 2000, Gambill reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, where he was beaten by Sampras. Gambill has won three singles titles, and five doubles titles, including one with Andy Roddick. He has earned approximately $3.60 million in is career.
With 94 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit, of which the Yuba City Challenger is a part of, is the pathway to the U.S. Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals.
Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money as well as valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points.
Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Justine Henin, Nicole Vaidisova, Andy Murray, David Nalbandian and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are among today's top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.
The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide — an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.
Admission to the qualifying tournament June 1-2 is free. The main draw play begins June 3. Admission that day through June 6 is free to the general public, courtesy of title sponsor, Sunset Moulding Company and the Morrison family.
Session passes for main draw play on June 7-8 are $10. All-event passes are available for an additional charge and include admittance to all sessions of play and several dinners and a Sunday finals brunch. For information, call the Yuba City Racquet Club at 673-6900 or visit www.yubacitychallenger.com
And before he does that, he will do a benefit here to help out a nearby club:
I realize I haven't updated this in ages, so here's the news for anyone who still cares.
Jan-Michael is coaching Coco Vandeweghe on the WTA tour, after being her WTT teammate for two years. You can follow her on twitter @cocovandey, she occasionally makes comments about 'JM' or posts a...
All of the other threads seemed out of date and inappropriate for this topic of conversation, so here's a new one.
After 4 years of battling 3 main injuries (chronic shin splints, right shoulder, and lower back), Jan-Michael has been playing relatively pain free lately so he is going to give it...
Wow, I'm surprised. Looking at the posts for American players, there are not very many lol. Well, anyone at all know what's been going on with JMG's knee muscle tendinitis or something like that? I'm worried about him. BTW, he's an adorable man! :drool: :kiss: :hearts: :p