A day before Yom Kippur I connected with Noah Rubin. A young player on the tour experiencing the grind of a full year of tennis. He is having his voice heard with his platform BehindtheRacquet.com. We caught up with Rubin to find out how one can be the best and what steps tennis needs to make in 2019.
1. When did you start playing?
My grandfather played tennis and he still plays today at age 86. My father coached both my sister and I through our youth. My sister played collegiate tennis. So I have been playing since I was 1 1/2 years old. It is special when there are three generations of my family on the same court.
2. After becoming the Junior Wimbledon Champion, is that when you knew you were going pro?
I was actually done with Juniors before Wimbledon, got a pro ranking, but since it was my last year I entered two events; the French Open and Wimbledon. I had to go qualify a few days before the event. It was incredible to win, more for my father, because the title was a thank you for everything he had done for me. The money spent, the effort and time put in. His guidance allowed me to be #6 Junior in the world.
3. How was your experience at Wake Forest and College Tennis?
I was actually late to my first day of class because of the US Open. It was a fun year and maybe I should have gone for longer but hindsight is 20/20. At Wake Forest I got intimate support and feeling. I was only a few points away from winning the NCAAs.
4. How is the pro level different from your collegiate experience?
It is the culture of tennis because you lose much more often. Pros are a totally different ball game because players are of all ages; 14-20 other age groups as opposed to playing roughly your own age group. Consistency day in and day out is the key for the top tennis players.
5. You have ranked anywhere from 125-175. How do you move up the ladder?
The key is finding what gives you that drive and that includes issues with motivation. It is important to find what makes you happy and give the effort. Also, experience and finding how you play your best tennis. It is a long year on tour as a professional and the whole experience is a learning process.
6. Why have guys like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic and such success? Who would you rather play against?
At a Grand Slam event for 3 of 5 set matches I don’t want to see any of them. Their composure and experience are unmatched and they know how to win. Even though some of the young guys are incredibly talented their consistency is what makes them almost unbeatable. I played Federer at Australian Open so I would choose Nadal see what its like be on the other side.
7. Tell TGR readers about Behind the Racquet.
I was just going through my career and life and began thinking about things further than just playing because players come and go. I wanted a legacy beyond playing tennis but still in the field of tennis. I was seeing problems and issues. There has not been a lot of growth in sports when it comes to mental health issues. This is a platform that allows players to open up and fans can relate to players.
8. What was your Jewish life like growing and how do you connect today?
I’ll be fasting on Yom Kippur. I have a very strong connection to the Jewish faith. I support Israel and I am proud of being Jewish. Hebrew school wasn’t ideal at times, few eight or nine year olds always want to be there. But I observe all the holidays and High Holidays. There are only a few Jews in tennis and in the sports world. One of my first big tournament wins was 13U in France and a fan came up to me and said “that was a big win on Shabbat.” I felt a lot of pride in that moment.
9. Where can fans find you on social media?
@NoahRubin33 on most places but check out BehindtheRacquet.com. That is my website, I sell merch and have a podcast.