|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)|
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.
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 play
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 finals
Singles: 40 (20 wins, 20 losses)
|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 timeline
|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 Fame
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 covering Andy Murray's third-round match in the 2011 Australian Open for ESPN, 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.
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- Brad Gilbert at the Davis Cup
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- 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.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- 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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