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).

Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform