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Brad Gilbert

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Country (sports)  United States
Retired  1995
Movies  Little Noises
Turned pro  1982
Spouse  Kim Gilbert
Height  1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Role  Coach
Residence  San Rafael, California
Name  Brad Gilbert

Brad Gilbert Wimbledon Brad Gilbert on Andy Murray Novak Djokovic
Born  August 9, 1961 (age 54) Oakland, California (1961-08-09)
Plays  Right-handed (1-handed backhand)
Books  Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in TennisLessons from a Master
Siblings  Dana Gilbert, Barry Gilbert
Children  Julian Gilbert, Zach Gilbert, Zoe Gilbert
Similar People  Darren Cahill, Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Tim Mayotte, Miloslav Mecir

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Brad Gilbert (born August 9, 1961) is an American tennis coach, a television tennis commentator, an author and former professional tennis player. He was born in Oakland, California and graduated from Piedmont High School (California).


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Gilbert's career-high singles ranking was world no. 4, which he reached in January 1990. Since retiring from the tour, he has coached several top players, including Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, and Kei Nishikori.

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Wee chat with brad gilbert elite tennis coach analyst and commentator

Playing career

Brad Gilbert Brad Gilbert admits poor relationship with Andy Murray but

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. 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.

Brad Gilbert FileBrad Gilbert at the 2010 US Open 01jpg Wikimedia

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.

Brad Gilbert FileBrad Gilbert at the 2010 US Open 02jpg Wikimedia

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 future International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee 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, as well as Agustín Moreno and Jason Stoltenberg.

Gilbert's best performances at Grand Slam tournaments were at the 1987 US Open and 1990 Wimbledon, 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 totalled 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, in the Masters in MSG New York in January 1986, 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.

Davis Cup

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


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

Halls of Fame

Gilbert is a member of the USTA Northern California Hall of Fame.

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

Gilbert was inducted in 2001 into the ITA Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame.

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

Coaching career

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 Agassi

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".

Andy Roddick

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 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. 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.

Alex Bogdanović

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."

Kei Nishikori

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.

Sam Querrey

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

Commentator and Author

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.

Personal life

Gilbert is Jewish and resides with his wife Kim and three children Zach, Julian and Zoe in San Rafael, California.

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.


Brad Gilbert Wikipedia