Teen tennis sensation, Noah Rubin, shows no signs of stopping on his journey to the top since winning the Boy's Singles tournament at Wimbledon in July 2014. In the months following, he won the 2014 U.S. Tennis Association’s Boys 18s National Championships in both singles and doubles. In September 2014, Rubin was ranked the No. 1 Division 1 college freshman by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). With goals aimed even higher, this teen is unstoppable as he begins his professional career. I caught up with Noah for an exclusive interview.
At what age did you start playing tennis?
I was around one when my dad started teaching me and my mom worked at my tennis club during the summer. I actually have a picture of myself in a diaper holding a tennis racket.
How did your parents know you would excel in tennis?
Tennis runs in my family. No one knew I was good, I just really enjoyed playing. It's been a family thing all my life. I am a very competitive person and really enjoyed playing. When I was six, I got to a certain point where my parents realized I had a lot of potential and took me to Sportime where Lawrence Kleger coached me. Lawrence is the Director of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy.
What did you want to be when you were ten years old?
I always wanted to play tennis or soccer professionally. At twelve, I had to make a decision between tennis or soccer.
What was your tennis routine growing up?
When I was 8-11 years old, I was putting in two hours, 5-6 days a week. From 13 on, I increased that to 3-4 hours and one hour off court 3-4 days week.
Did you go to a regular school, do on-line schooling or home schooling?
I went to a regular school through freshman year in high school and then studied online as a sophomore. Now I attend Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Did you or your family have to move so you could be coached by a certain professional?
It was important to me to have a social life plus the tennis. There are excellent academies all around the world and I'm sure it would have been great to go there but I always enjoyed having that happy medium between working everyday in tennis then coming back to my home and being with my family and friends. I didn't think an academy could do that for me.
Describe to me the emotion you felt on the court when you won at Wimbledon?
It was interesting, I had to qualify first and then I made it to the finals and that second it was so weird. I had put so in many hours and matches. Then it abruptly stopped and I wasn’t ready for it. I had so many feelings rushing to my head but as soon as I got off the court, there was so much happening that I didn’t have time to process it. I had to immediately take a drug test, then interviews, then jump into my tux for the Wimbledon Ball. When I finally returned to my hotel room at 1:30am and I had a chance to watch my match because I still couldn't believe I won.
Why do you like tennis so much?
I love competing mano y mano and tennis has also allowed me to travel the world. Most people my age don't get that opportunity.
Did you ever considered quitting?
No, there are times when I had a bad day but this is my life, there are ups and downs. I just have to live with it.
What major things have you had to give up to play at this level?
The way my life has gone, everything has been worth it. I haven't been able to hang out with friends or go to parties. I do not see my girlfriend or family as much as I would like and you have to really prioritize with school work. Time management becomes an issue. I did not have a normal childhood but it brought me to where I am today. I enjoyed every aspect even though I may have lost out on some things.
What is the biggest lesson tennis has taught you?
The past its the past and you have to move on. Point by point you may win or loose but no matter what you just have to move on and learn from your mistakes.
What are your next set of goals?
Hopefully, the summer will work out well and I will qualify for men's Wimbledon. I am aiming to be in the top 250.
I understand you are training with John McEnroe and I've seen his on court outbursts. What is he like now?
He still acts the same, but, whether you like him as a person or not, he is still one of the greatest tennis players in the world. He knows the atmosphere, he knows what it takes to be the best, he knows the feeling of being out there at that level. You can’t argue with an eleven time grand slam champion.