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John Isner takes aim at Lleyton Hewitt over Justin Gimelstob comments: 'He's being arrogant'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 4 Dec 2018
  • Isner drags up Hewitt's past in relation to Gimelstob remarks
  • Gimelstob is facing battery felony charges for an alleged assault on the night of Halloween
  • Hewitt has called on the ATP to punish the American, who is a member of the ATP Board
Australian Captain Lleyton Hewitt celebrates next to John Isner during a Davis Cup tie in 2016 (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

John Isner has slammed former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt for his comments regarding the American’s coach Justin Gimelstob, who is set to appear in court later this month for an alleged assault.

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Gimelstob, a former player who has since made the transition into broadcasting and is also a member of the ATP board, reportedly struck venture capitalist Randall Kaplan 50 times in the head on the night of Halloween in the United States and told him: “I’m going to f***ing kill you,” according to The Telegraph. The alleged assault was also reportedly witnessed by Kaplan’s wife and two-year-old daughter.

Justin Gimelstob (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
In a letter to the ATP player council - which is comprised of 10 members, including World No. 1 Novak Djokovic - Gimelstob declared he would be fighting the allegations in court on December 12. Gimelstob, 41, is currently out on $50,000 bail after being arrested following the assault.

Isner, who is coached by Gimelstob, has promised to stand by his countryman throughout his legal battle.

“Of course Justin is very close to me, as a friend and as a coach,” Isner told ESPN. “But even if he wasn’t, at the current time I would still support him because he’s innocent until proven guilty.
“We’ll know the facts soon enough. It might not be a popular opinion, but as of now, I have to give Justin benefit of doubt.”

Hewitt led calls for the ATP to punish Gimelstob on social media when the allegations first surfaced, but Isner has hit back at the former two-time major champion and Australia’s current Davis Cup captain, bringing up a controversial moment of the retired star’s past.



“I don’t think (Gimelstob) should take a leave right now,” Isner said. “We don’t know the facts yet. Hewitt doesn’t know the facts, either.
“He’s the guy who was involved in his own nasty situation with (former tennis star) James Blake, and I’m not calling for his head, or for him to step down from working with Tennis Australia. He’s being arrogant.”

Isner was speaking about an incident between Hewitt and Blake from the 2001 U.S. Open, when the then 20-year-old was involved in an argument with officials after being foot-faulted twice by a black linesman during pivotal moments in the third set.

“Look at him (the linesman) and tell me what the similarity is (with Blake),” Hewitt said. “I want him off the court. I’ve only been foot-faulted at one end. Look at what he’s done.”

Hewitt defended himself following the incident, saying “there was nothing racial said out there”. Blake, who was 21 at the time, gave Hewitt the benefit of the doubt, but the pair remained rivals for the remainder of their careers.

Meanwhile, Gimelstob has a history of reported sinister indiscretions. He once targeted Anna Kournikova with the vile comments below, while according to more reports from The Telegraph, Gimelstob also once had an alleged altercation with Kris Thabit, who is a male friend of Cary Gimelstob.



The report also states that Cary Gimelstob sought a restraining order against her estranged husband, claiming that he assaulted her and broke into her home after they separated.

Despite everything, Gimelstob has been allowed to rise through the ranks of the ATP to become one of the most prominent figures in the sport.

Gimelstob has taken a leave of absence from his broadcasting job at the Tennis Channel in the United Stages. He remains a on the panel of the six-member ATP board until his court date on December 12.


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John Isner takes aim at Lleyton Hewitt over Justin Gimelstob comments: "He's being arrogant"

John Isner has slammed former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt for his comments regarding the American’s coach Justin Gimelstob, who is set to appear in court later this month for an alleged assault.

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