Justin Gimelstob is feigning trepidation.
“Oh, man, he’s dressed like a tennis player. I was expecting khakis and a notebook.”
Indeed, I’ve come armed with my Wilson nTour and a new one of those slick “moisture-wicking” Reebok shirts. Though I do point out that I’m carrying a briefcase instead of a gym bag.
I shake Justin’s hand and take a look around. We’re inside the stadium court at Legg Mason Tennis Classic. I doubt that’s true, but it’s a cool thought.
“So how good of a player are you?” Justin asks, standing up from a bleacher to reveal his 6-foot-6-inch frame.
“I’m a three-five,” I say, referring to the ATP Tour and was once ranked 63rd in the entire world. At that level, they give out big checks, not ratings.
“We’ll see,” he responds with a wry grin.
Justin is in town to help promote his debut with the Washington Kastles, a new World TeamTennis franchise that will begin play in the District next month. He’s doing some clinics with kids and also has agreed to play with a few schlubby reporters like myself.
We start to hit a few balls. He’s feeding me easy, waist-high forehands, and I’m getting them back in play. These are right in my wheelhouse, and I’m loving it. I flub a backhand or two. But I’m not stinking up the joint, and this is good.
I start up the small talk, telling him about how I watched him play once at a tournament in Daniel Nestor. He looks at me like I just asked him the square root of 642. I guess he’s not impressed with my knowledge of obscure left-handed Canadian doubles players. I feel like a dork.
“Do you read my column?” he asks.
I hesitate before responding. He’s referring to his column on SI.com, and I know it exists but haven’t read it in a while. I tell him I read it religiously. I’m pretty sure he knows I’m lying.
The rallies are getting more intense. Justin comes into the net, and I try to pound some forehands right at him. He volleys them back with little effort.
I manage a few successful passing shots down the line, though he’s not really going after them. He congratulates me politely. My confidence is building.
“Let’s see if I can handle one of your serves,” I say with more cockiness than I intend.View Entire Story
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Video reviews of today's hottest trends in Minecraft (servers and mods) along with a look at the latest video games with your host MCairsoft14 (alias Jerad Zad).
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention