Gilmelstob meets Chang for final place

Potential is a word that's been attached to Justin Gimelstob for a few years now. Especially after he'd knock out big names like Andre Agassi and Patrick Rafter.

Potential is a word that's been attached to Justin Gimelstob for a few years now. Especially after he'd knock out big names like Andre Agassi and Patrick Rafter.

But injuries or immaturity always seem to bog down his progress.

"I'll start reaching my potential when I start bringing in mental and physical maturity," he said. "At times, I've had one and not the other."

He'll need both in Saturday's semifinal against fourth-seeded Michael Chang at the Mercedes-Benz Cup. No. 6 Jan-Michael Gambill and No. 8 Arnaud Clement of France meet in the other semi.

Gimelstob, who upset No. 2 Mark Philippoussis in three sets on Thursday night, was leading 3-0 in the first set Friday when Paul Goldstein retired from their quarterfinal with tendinitis in his left foot.

So there was no need for Gimelstob to refer to the message he'd scribbled in blue ink on his left hand. It read, "For the love of the game."

"A lot of times I get so obsessed by winning or the score or a certain way of doing things," he said. "For me to be great, I have to distance myself from the normal thought processes, things I can't control, whether it be the score or my opponent.

"A lot of times you get consumed by the rankings, the money," he said. "A lot of times you can see the errors you make, but you can't distance yourself from doing it."

Chang made enough errors to trail 3-5 and be down two set points in the tiebreaker before beating fifth-seeded Wayne Ferreira 6-3, 7-6 (7).

Chang has yet to lose to Ferreira in seven career meetings and hasn't dropped a set in three matches here.

Clement defeated countryman Lionel Roux 6-3, 6-2, while Gambill beat Australian Jason Stoltenberg 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Stoltenberg double-faulted at 3-1 to give Gambill the only break of the third set.

"He played an ugly point. That second serve wasn't close to making it over the net," Gambill said. "I was putting extra pressure on my returns. He knew he had to play some pretty good serves."

Chang is much improved from a year ago when he was in tennis' equivalent of the minor leagues, playing a Challenger event with others whose rankings aren't high enough to get into the main draw of ATP Tour events.

For the first time in 11 years, Chang failed to win at least one title in 1999 and finished the year ranked 50th in the world - shocking results for the former French Open champion who has won 33 career titles and more than dlrs 18 million in prize money.

"I reached a point of frustration. I definitely reached a point of brokenness," he said. "Not really understanding why things were happening the way they were."

Chang, 28, changed his training and focused on bulking up his 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter), 160-pound ( 72-kilogram) body in the belief that it would help him overpower opponents. The result was more muscle but a lack of flexibility and footspeed, which killed his renowned ability to get to every ball.

"I got a little slower," he said.

Working with his brother, Carl, Chang cut back on the weights and started sprint work to regain his speed. So far this year, he's made the quarterfinals of seven tournaments and lost in the final of another.

"I almost feel like I've started my career over. I definitely feel I'm moving better out there," he said. "If I'm able to get to the ball and hit what I want to hit, I'm going to be a better player. I've gone back to basics and given up on trying to overpower guys to the extent I wanted to."

Results from the $375,000 Mercedes-Benz Cup ATP Tour hard-court tournament:

Singles - Quarterfinals

Arnaud Clement (8), France, def. Lionel Roux, France, 6-3, 6-2. Justin Gimelstob, United States, def. Paul Goldstein, United States, 3-0, retired. Michael Chang (4), United States, def. Wayne Ferreira (5), South Africa, 6-3, 7-6 (7). Jan-Michael Gambill (6), United States, def. Jason Stoltenberg, Australia, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Doubles - Quarterfinals

Justin Gimelstob and Rick Leach (1), United States, def. Marcos Ondruska, South Africa, and Peter Tramacchi, Australia, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks