I raise my arms like I just won Wimbledon, then lower them quickly before Justin notices. I am glowing internally from my semi-legitimate service winner.
Justin goes on to win 7-1.
We take a break, and this is when he tells me all about his retirement from the tour, which doesn’t seem much like a retirement at all since he’s busier than ever. He has been doing some commentary for the Serena Williams.
“Competition’s competition,” he says. “I have no doubt this will evoke emotions that I haven’t felt since I left the tour. I’m curious to see how my body reacts and how long it takes me to assimilate to the pace.”
Apparently a hitting session with me isn’t cutting it.
Justin tells me that he still “goes at it tooth and nail” on the court with Pete Sampras, his neighbor in Southern California. So in other words, his idea of relaxation is to play tennis with a guy who won 14 Grand Slams.
Some kids start trickling onto the court. It’s clinic time, and we need to wrap up our session. I scan the kids to see whether there are any future Gimelstobs or maybe a Williams sister or two. There’s potential in this chirpy crowd, no question. And they now have Justin to show them how to pull off that kick serve out wide.