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Tennis.com Podcast: Noah Rubin is right where he belongs
The 2014 junior Wimbledon winner talks highs & lows in his tennis journey, and why his new passion is giving a voice to the players on the Tennis.com Podcast with Kamau Murray.
Published Sep 27, 2022
WATCH: Rubin long enjoyed the grind of working up the ATP rankings, peaking just outside the Top 100.
A lot can happen in eight years. The All England Club was the site of Noah Rubin's crowning achievement as a junior tennis player, has he took home the boys title and was ready to start his pursuit of success in big time tennis. There have been high moments, agonizing losses, and a lot of uncertainty in the most challenging of sports.
But if there's one thing Rubin was known for it was his unrelenting effort and refusal to shy away from a challenge. It's what elevated him on the court, & it's what has put him in the position to succeed off of it. He joined Kamau Murray on the Tennis.com Podcast to shed light on what his playing career was really like, and why he felt a calling to start what has quickly become one of the most prominent tennis media companies online.
Rubin is a native New Yorker, something both the guest & the host are quick to point out on the show. He was the beneficiary of two dedicated parents who encouraged their son's tennis while doing everything they could to keep him in their house and in a normal up-bringing. Rubin had long days of school, practice & homework, but he found comfort in his home & having free weekends in his native city. And being coached directly by his father strengthened their relationship, even if he was strict at times.
"It was attitude, it was effort," Rubin recalled about what specifically would earn him an ill-fated talking to by his dad. "He still worked extremely hard to make sure that I knew that if I'm not enjoying it, let's stop and tell me what's going on here."
As a promising junior, Rubin gained recognition internationally, rising up the ranks at a time when US junior tennis was sizzling with talent. He reached 6th in the world before he turned 16, and at the time decided to stop playing junior tennis and turn his attention to a potential pro career. Two years later he doubled-back and decided to make one last run at the junior slams, and it was Wimbledon where it all came together. Rubin marched from qualifying to the title, defeating a trio of Americans along the way that included Taylor Fritz & Frances Tiafoe. The moment was life highlight for the Rubin family, and the champion understood the importance of it for one person in particular.
"It was less for me & more for my father. He sacrificed so much," Rubin lamented. "That moment for him kind of was the Holy Grail of everything we sacrificed as a junior."
Eight years later, Rubin has decided it's time to take "an indefinite break" from the game. He's just 26 years old, and has battled and scrapped for his pro career since that crowning moment in London. He won four challenger titles, played in every grand slam main draw, and got the most of his five foot nine inch frame. He's at peace with what he's accomplished, not regretful of what was unattained. His conversation with Murray conveys just how much he still cares about the sport, flaws and all. Increasing the financial opportunities for lower ranked players & growing the game to more fans are two of Rubin's core passions, and are points of focus for his new career.
And that new career is something that didn't just happen overnight. During a low point in his tennis career, when injuries and mental health struggles were on the aggressive, Rubin battled back like he always does.
"I thought there's no way I'm the only one dealing with this. Let me just talk to a few friends, open up to them a little bit and see what they're going through."
That idea became the foundation for "Behind The Racquet," a social media platform that has morphed into several entities, including a very tennis podcast co-hosted by veteran tennis broadcast Mike Cation. On Instagram, you'll find tennis players from all over the world posing behind their rackets with a caption that is 100% authentically their story.
"It's a responsibility I have today to push it forward," Rubin professed.
"Behind The Racquet" improved his own condition, allowed other tennis players to connect with the fans on their own terms, & has given Rubin another career endeavor that can replace the void competitive athletics will leave in his daily life.
As is par for the course with the Tennis.com Podcast, there are some light moments. Murray makes sure to get the low-down on Rubin's college experience at Wake Forrest, his most regretful purchases, and his favorite & least favorite stops on the tennis tour. It's an entertaining conversation that will leave you excited for Noah Rubin's future, as the 26-year old closes one chapter and opens the next.