February is finally here. This means the Super Bowl, my sister’s Bday, and interview month here at TGR. Today we kick off the month long special at TGR with an interview with former ATPer Paul Goldstein. Goldstein was on the tour for a while and played against the world’s greatest. We hope you in enjoy his story. Check back Wednesday to hear about the new blog that follows DA BULLS.
How did you get started playing tennis?
I am the youngest of three brothers. They were athletic so I followed in their footsteps. I played all sorts of sports in I was younger but tennis stuck and I had success doing it. I loved the competition. Once I was out in the tennis world I figured things out myself.
What was the biggest stage you played on and biggest stakes?
I played in all four of the grand slams. My fondest memory was when I won a national championship at Stanford. We actually won four, which had never been done before. Out team had a common goal and we accomplished it.
I played [Pete] Sampras at the U.S. Open on the Stadium court. I also played against [Andre] Aggasi at the Australian Open. I reached the semi-finals at the U.S. Open in doubles.
Who was the greatest player you played against?
Played Aggasi four or 5 times faired better than I did against Sampras. I struggled against Aggasi because we are similar players he just did things better. When I played it was a close four sets. Sampras was the more accomplished tennis player. He has the best serve of all-time.
[Roger] Federor is now amazing and the best ever. But I never played against him
How high were you ranked? What was your biggest personal accomplishment on the court?
I was ranked 58th in the world, which was 4th or 5th in the US. I was ranked 40th in the world in doubles. Reaching the semi-finals of the U.S. Open in doubles was amazing. Also, making the singles 3rd round twice at Wimbledon was a great time.
Why did you retire?
I guess I never felt like I “retired” I just got a different job. I turned thirty-one and with tennis that is older because you start young. When I played I was the #1 player with a college degree. Most players don’t go to college. So I got a late start at age twenty-two. Tennis is truly a global sport and some travel so much. It is an eleven-month season. It’s a big grind. So careers short.
During all this I got married and had a child. The travel became too much.
Do you miss it?
Absolutely. I miss playing, the guys, and the competitiveness. The travel is the best and worst part of what you do. I got to play on six continents. I have friends all over the world. It was just hard with a family.
What do you do now?
I work for an alternative energy company. I really enjoy it. It was a big transition at first. The job is completely different. I commute to work every day and sit behind a desk. Both careers are very challenging but in different ways. This job has lots of growth potential.
What does your Judaism mean to you?
I grew up in a Jewish home. When I was playing I got a lot of sport culturally from the Jewish community and it was very important.
And Lets Us Say…Amen.