Brad Gilbert (born August 9, 1961, in Oakland, California) is an American tennis coach, a television tennis commentator, and former professional tennis player. He is the current coach of Britain’s 2nd highest ranked tennis player, Alex Bogdanovic, as part of his contract with the English Lawn Tennis Association. As a player, Gilbert’s career-high singles ranking was World No. 4, which he reached in January 1990. Since retiring from the tour, he has coached several top players including Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.
Gilbert played tennis for Foothill College, a junior college in Los Altos, California, from 1980-82. During this time, he won the California Junior College Singles Championship and the U.S. Amateur Hardcourt Championship. In 1981, Gilbert was a member of the American Junior Davis Cup team. In 1982, he transferred to Pepperdine University, playing for Allen Fox, where he became an All-American and reached the finals of the 1982 NCAA championship.
Gilbert joined the professional tour in 1982, and won his first top-level singles title later that year in Taipei. His first doubles title came in 1985 in Tel Aviv.
Gilbert won a total of 20 top-level singles titles during his career, the biggest being the Cincinnati event in 1989. He was also runner-up in a further 20 singles events, including Cincinnati in 1990 (where he lost to future International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Stefan Edberg) and the Paris Indoors in 1987 and 1988.
Gilbert’s most successful year on the tour was 1989, during which he won five singles titles, including Cincinnati, where he beat four future Hall of Famers to claim the title: Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg, as well as Agustin Moreno and Jason Stoltenberg.
Gilbert’s best performances at Grand Slam tournaments were at the 1987 US Open and 1990 Wimbledon, where he reached the quarterfinals. He was also runner-up at the inaugural Grand Slam Cup in 1990.
Gilbert was ranked among the top-10 players in the U.S. for 9 of his first 10 years on the professional tour. His career win-loss record in singles play was 519–288.
Among his upsets of players ranked in the world’s top-3 were his defeat of No. 2 Boris Becker 3–6, 6–3, 6–4 in Cincinnati in 1989, No. 2 Edberg 7–6(2), 6–7(1), 6–4 in Los Angeles in 1991, No. 3 Sampras 6–3, 6–4 in London in 1992, and No. 3 Jim Courier 6–4, 6–4 at Memphis in 1994, and Edberg 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5) in Cincinnati in 1989.
Gilbert compiled a 10–5 record in Davis Cup play from 1986–93, with a 7–1 record on hard courts and carpet. He won bronze in the men’s singles at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. In 1981, he played for the US Maccabiah team, and he won the doubles title in Israel with partner Jon Levine.
Gilbert retired as a player in 1994. Since then, he has been highly successful as a tennis coach. He occasionally works as an analyst for ESPN. He is also the author of the very popular book Winning Ugly, which gives tips on how an average player can defeat a more skilled opponent. His second book, co-authored by James Kaplan and entitled I've Got Your Back, was published in 2005.