ATP To Tour Misogynist: Please Make It Gimelstob

Most casual observers remember Justin Gimelstob as a fairly ordinary ATP tour member and currently know him as a contributor to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’S web site, writing his “Gimel Takes All” column. Well, let’s just say the current member of the ATP’s board of directors doesn’t think too highly of some of the players on the women’s tour.

Justin Gimelstob kisses the net

(Gimelstob definitely kisses the nets at Wimbledon with that mouth.)

The UK’s DAILY MAIL reveals that Gimelstob unleashed some rather coarse language towards several players in a radio interview, calling Tatiana Golovin and Alize Cornet “sexpots”, but reserving his maximum vitriol towards Anna Kournikova, using the famed B-word. He also served up some more choice bon mots towards the Russian, whom he trained with as a junior.

Some digging by yours truly revealed the interview was in Washington, D.C., with WJFK-FM’s Junkies on June 18th, which has been archived for posterity, thankfully.

Host: “[Kournikova] already knows she’s playing you on the 23rd?”
Gimelstob: “Probably. She might not even be smart enough to read the schedule.”

Asked if he hated her, he replied: ‘Hate’s a very strong word. I just despise her to the maximum level just below hate.’

Mr Gimelstob, who is due to play Kournikova in an exhibition mixed doubles match in Washington next month, then said he wanted to hit her hard with the ball in the midriff when serving at her.

‘If she’s not crying by the time she walks off the court then I did not do my job,’ he added.

Finally, asked if he would ever have an affair with Kournikova, he said: ‘Definitely not. I have no attraction to her because she’s such a douche. I really have no interest in her… I wouldn’t mind having my younger brother, who’s a kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits.’

But Justin, tell us how you really feel. Let it all out.

He then criticized female tennis players for not having social skills, then following it up with a bit about there currently being fewer lesbians on tour because of the Russian Invasion. Sounds like someone got shot down way too much for his ego to handle during his years of serious competition, even though he hooked up with Martina Hingis in the past.

Naturally, Gimelstob was forced to apologize after the interview circulated, and also had to make a donation to the Women’s Sports Foundation as part of his penance. I’ll start the clock now on whether SI’s people will make him address the matter. Let’s just say I expect it to be running for a long, long time.