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Brad Gilbert (born August 9, 1961) is an American tennis coach and former professional tennis player. 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.

Brad Gilbert
Brad Gilbert.jpg
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceMalibu, California
Born (1961-08-09) August 9, 1961 (age 58)
Oakland, California
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1982 (amateur tour from 1981)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$5,507,973
Career record519–288 (64.3%)
Career titles20
Highest rankingNo. 4 (January 1, 1990)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open4R (1984)
French Open3R (1993)
WimbledonQF (1990)
US OpenQF (1987)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsSF (1987)
Grand Slam CupF (1990)
WCT FinalsF (1989)
Olympic GamesSF (1988)
Career record101–127
Career titles3
Highest rankingNo. 18 (September 29, 1986)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (1987)
French Open2R (1987)
Wimbledon2R (1986)
US Open2R (1988)
Coaching career

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.

Early lifeEdit

Gilbert was born in Oakland, California, and attended Piedmont High School, for whom he played tennis.[1][2][3] His father Barry was a high school history teacher, and then started a real estate firm.[4][5]

Playing careerEdit

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.[6][3] In 1982, he transferred to Pepperdine University, playing for Allen Fox, where he became an All-American and reached the finals of the 1982 NCAA Championship, losing to Mike Leach of Michigan 7–5, 6–3.

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 in 1985 in Tel Aviv.

Gilbert won a total of 20 top-level singles titles during his career, the biggest being the Cincinnati event 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 Indoors 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 at the 1987 US Open and 1990 Wimbledon Championships, where he reached the quarterfinals. He was also runner-up at the inaugural Grand Slam Cup in 1990.

Gilbert was ranked among the top 10 players in the U.S. for 9 of his first 10 years on the professional tour. His career win-loss record in singles play was 519–288. His career prize-money totaled US$5,509,060.

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.[7] 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.

Davis CupEdit

Gilbert compiled a 10–5 record in Davis Cup play from 1986–93, with a 7–1 record on hard courts and carpet.[8]


Gilbert won a bronze medal in men's singles at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

ATP Career finalsEdit

Singles 40 (20 titles, 20 runner-ups)Edit

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 1982 Taipei, Taiwan Carpet   Craig Wittus 6–1, 6–4
Winner 2. 1984 Columbus, U.S. Hard   Hank Pfister 6–3, 3–6, 6–3
Runner-up 1. 1984 San Francisco, U.S. Carpet   John McEnroe 4–6, 4–6
Winner 3. 1984 Taipei, Taiwan Carpet   Wally Masur 6–3, 6–3
Winner 4. 1985 Livingston, U.S. Hard   Brian Teacher 7–6, 6–4
Winner 5. 1985 Cleveland, U.S. Hard   Brad Drewett 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 2. 1985 Stuttgart Outdoor, Germany Clay   Ivan Lendl 4–6, 0–6
Runner-up 3. 1985 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard   Matt Anger 4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 2–6
Winner 6. 1985 Tel Aviv, Israel Hard   Amos Mansdorf 6–3, 6–2
Winner 7. 1986 Memphis, U.S. Carpet   Stefan Edberg 7–5, 7–6(7–3)
Winner 8. 1986 Livingston, U.S. Hard   Mike Leach 6–2, 6–2
Winner 9. 1986 Tel Aviv, Israel Hard   Aaron Krickstein 7–5, 6–2
Winner 10. 1986 Vienna, Austria Hard (i)   Karel Nováček 3–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–0
Runner-up 4. 1987 Washington, D.C., U.S. Hard   Ivan Lendl 1–6, 0–6
Winner 11. 1987 Scottsdale, U.S. Hard   Eliot Teltscher 6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 5. 1987 Tel Aviv, Israel Hard   Amos Mansdorf 6–3, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 6. 1987 Paris Indoor, France Carpet   Tim Mayotte 6–2, 3–6, 5–7, 7–6(7–5), 3–6
Runner-up 7. 1987 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard (i)   Pat Cash 6–7(7–9), 6–4, 6–2, 0–6, 1–6
Winner 12. 1988 Tel Aviv, Israel Hard   Aaron Krickstein 4–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–2
Runner-up 8. 1988 Paris Indoor, France Carpet   Amos Mansdorf 3–6, 2–6, 3–6
Winner 13. 1989 Memphis, U.S. Hard (i)   Johan Kriek 6–2, 6–2, ret.
Runner-up 9. 1989 Dallas WCT, U.S. Carpet   John McEnroe 3–6, 3–6, 6–7(3–7)
Runner-up 10. 1989 Washington, D.C., U.S. Hard   Tim Mayotte 6–3, 4–6, 5–7
Winner 14. 1989 Stratton Mountain, U.S. Hard   Jim Pugh 7–5, 6–0
Winner 15. 1989 Livingston, U.S. Hard   Jason Stoltenberg 6–4, 6–4
Winner 16. 1989 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard   Stefan Edberg 6–4, 2–6, 7–6(7–5)
Winner 17. 1989 San Francisco, U.S. Carpet   Anders Järryd 7–5, 6–2
Runner-up 11. 1989 Orlando, U.S. Hard   Andre Agassi 2–6, 1–6
Winner 18. 1990 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet   Jonas Svensson 6–1, 6–3
Winner 19. 1990 Orlando, U.S. Hard   Christo van Rensburg 6–2, 6–1
Runner-up 12. 1990 Cincinnati, U.S. Hard   Stefan Edberg 1–6, 1–6
Winner 20. 1990 Brisbane, Australia Hard   Aaron Krickstein 6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 13. 1990 Grand Slam Cup, Munich Carpet   Pete Sampras 3–6, 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 14. 1991 San Francisco, U.S. Carpet   Darren Cahill 2–6, 6–3, 4–6
Runner-up 15. 1991 Los Angeles, U.S. Hard   Pete Sampras 2–6, 7–6(7–5), 3–6
Runner-up 16. 1991 Sydney Indoor, Australia Hard (i)   Stefan Edberg 2–6, 2–6, 2–6
Runner-up 17. 1992 Scottsdale, U.S. Hard   Stefano Pescosolido 0–6, 6–1, 4–6
Runner-up 18. 1993 San Francisco, U.S. Hard (i)   Andre Agassi 2–6, 7–6(7–4), 2–6
Runner-up 19. 1993 Tokyo Outdoor, Japan Hard   Pete Sampras 2–6, 2–6, 2–6
Runner-up 20. 1994 Memphis, U.S. Hard (i)   Todd Martin 4–6, 5–7

Singles performance timelineEdit

Tournament 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
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%
Year End Rankings 282 54 50 23 18 11 13 21 6 10 19 26 35 76 680

Halls of FameEdit

Gilbert is a member of the USTA Northern California Hall of Fame, and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[9][10]

Gilbert is also a 1999 inductee into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame.[11]

Gilbert was inducted in 2001 into the ITA Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, and in 2003 into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[12][13]

Gilbert was a 2001 inductee into the Marblehead Boosters Hall of Fame.[14]

Coaching careerEdit

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.

Andre AgassiEdit

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".[15]

Andy RoddickEdit

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.

Andy MurrayEdit

Gilbert coaching Andy Murray

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.[16] 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.[17]

Alex BogdanovićEdit

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.[18] 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."[19]

Kei NishikoriEdit

While still being committed to his TV items,[20] 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.[21]

Sam QuerreyEdit

In February 2012, it was announced that Gilbert would work with American Sam Querrey on a trial basis in 2012.[22]

Commentator and authorEdit

Gilbert now serves as a tennis analyst for ESPN. He is also the author of the book Winning Ugly,[23] 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,[24] was published in 2005.

Personal lifeEdit

Gilbert is Jewish[25] and resides with his wife Kim in Malibu, California. He has three children Zach, Julian and Zoe.

He owns a tennis shop in downtown San Rafael, California called Brad Gilbert’s Tennis Nation. He was a close friend of Barry MacKay.

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.

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "Big sister, look what you’ve done" – East Bay Times
  2. ^ "Photos: Former tennis star Brad Gilbert selling Bay Area mansion"
  3. ^ a b "Brad Gilbert" – Maccabi USA
  4. ^ "Tennis sensei-tion / Brad Gilbert, coach to the top players, is a master at serving advice" - SFGate
  5. ^ Great Jews in Sports - Robert Slater
  6. ^ "U.S. Five Captures Maccabiah Crown" - The New York Times
  7. ^ Benoit Denizet-Lewis (June 27, 2004). "Brad Gilbert Talks a Great Game". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  8. ^ Brad Gilbert at the Davis Cup
  9. ^ USTA Northern California Hall of Fame Archived July 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Celebrity Jews in the news" – J
  11. ^ #1 in College Sports
  12. ^ ITA Men's Hall of Fame. Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
  13. ^ Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Home
  14. ^ Marblehead Marblehead Boosters Club Hall of Fame Archived October 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Tennis players – Brad Gilbert". Tennis – ATP World Tour official site.
  16. ^ Halley, Jim (August 3, 2006). "Gilbert coaching teen Murray, over firing by Roddick". USA Today. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  17. ^ "Murray splits with coach Gilbert". BBC News. November 14, 2007.
  18. ^ Harman, Neil (November 20, 2007). "Brad Gilbert gives Alex Bogdanovic rallying call to reach potential". The Times. London. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "News - ATP World Tour - Tennis".
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Brad Gilbert to work with Sam Querrey on trial basis". TennisNow. February 20, 2012.
  23. ^ Jamison, Steve; Brad Gilbert (1994). Winning Ugly : Mental Warfare in Tennis—Lessons from a Master. New York: Fireside. ISBN 0-671-88400-X.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^


External linksEdit