Status: Former ATP Player and current Tennis Channel commentator. Highest singles ranking was #63. Had career wins over Agassi, Muster, Korda, Murray, Lopez, Santoro, Kuerten, Corretja, Martin, Massu, Philippoussis.
DOB: January 26, 1977 In: Livingston, NJ
Greatest Sports Moment: “Tough to say. Maybe beating Rafter in L.A. when he was 2 in the world. He had a great summer that year, he won the U.S. Open. He didn’t lose that many matches that summer. I remember beating Agassi in L.A. early on in my career. Just because it was right after I left UCLA. But also some of the moments – some of the five-setters I had at the Open. Beating Andy Murray here (Newport), late in my career, 1 and 6. Tough to say just one match.”
Most Painful Moment: “Emotionally or physically? (Both.) Emotionally, I had a few. Lost some tough matches with match point. I lost to Lleyton Hewitt one year in Bangkok with match point. Probably losing in L.A., losing semifinal to Chang, I was up 6-3 3-1 in the semifinal and a chance to win my hometown tournament UCLA. That was tough.”
Strangest Match: “Early in my career I was playing in the first round of a tournament, I was down 6-4 5-2. The guy was serving, had 40-love and I ended up coming back and winning the match and winning the tournament. Against Jordi Burillo in Andorra, Spain. That was an interesting one. (How did you manage to turn that around?) I hit a forehand topspin lob down match point, broke serve, then he got a little nervous and then just turned it around. I lost plenty of matches like that as well [smiles], unfortunately.”
Funniest Players Encountered: “Like, best sense of humor? …Patrick Rafter was quite funny. I played doubles with him a couple times. He was quite funny. He’s the kind of guy, right up to the start of the match, would be playing jokes, very laid back, but then right when he’d play, would be so intense. Mardy Fish has a great sense of humor. Roddick is quite witty.”
Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “One year at the French Open, early on, my partner hit a short lob and I got hit with a point blank overhead right on the most vulnerable spot for a man – and it was horrifying.”
Match You Felt At Your Best: “Probably against Rafter. I was just in the zone that night, 4 and 3. And just the cliche, the ball feels like a beach ball and your timing is right, your body feels great. The ball is coming off your racquet and going where you want it to go. It’s just everything slows down a little bit. It happens a couple of times. It didn’t happen to me enough [smiles].”
Last Book Read: “Outliers.”
Current Car: “An Escalade (black).”
Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: “Love basketball.”
Why Do You Love Playing Tennis: “I think tennis is the greatest sport in the world. Because, first of all, it’s based on merit on the court. It’s a combination of physical, mental, technical and tactical skills. It’s one on one. It’s international. And it’s just a great feeling hitting that ball cleanly and purely.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “Work ethic. Honesty. Generosity. Sensitivity. Those are good ones to start with. Philanthropic.”
Career Accomplishments: Winner of the 1998 Australian Open and French Open mixed doubles titles with Venus Williams; Winner of 13 doubles titles; Member of United States Davis Cup team in 1998 and 2001.
Topics: Andy Murray, Atp Player, Burillo, Corretja, Couple Times, Greatest Sports, Justin Gimelstob, Kuerten, Livingston Nj, Lleyton Hewitt, Mardy Fish, Massu, Match Point, Painful Moment, Patrick Rafter, Philippoussis, Santoro, Sense Of Humor, Sports Moment, Tennis Channel