In my second episode of “Tennis Spotlight”, I interviewed Noah Rubin. Noah is a 23-year-old American player who has been ranked as high as 125 in the world. Currently, Noah is ranked just outside of the top 200. Click here to see his ATP Overview. Noah is not only known for his on-court success, but he is also a prominent mental health advocate. In early 2019 he started “Behind The Racquet” which provides fans an inside look at the “not so glamorous” side of tennis. Click here to see his Behind the Racquet Website. Noah Rubin has a big year ahead of him. He is prepared to put in hard work towards his game and grow Behind The Racquet.
Here is the intervew:
Conquering College Tennis
1. You had a great junior career and decided to play tennis at Wake Forest. What was your experience like during your time there?
Noah Rubin: “I really had this idea that I should conquer every age group/division before I go on to the next one. I don’t think you should assume you’re better than college players even with the great experience you’ve had as a junior. I wanted to prove to myself that I was ready to go pro once I thought I conquered college tennis. I do not regret the year of going to Wake Forest. I really love the staff and the friends I made and I am still very close with them.”
2. How tough was it to leave Wake Forest to go pro?
Noah Rubin: “Generally I have too easy of a time leaving a place and its people. In the end, I had to do what was best for me and go pro. It was tough for me to see my peers getting better and improving their ranking while I was just getting better.”
His Experience On Tour
3. Life on tour can be tough. We hear so many stories about how much of a grind it is making your way through the lower ranks. Can you tell me about what it’s been like getting to where you are today?
Noah Rubin: “It has been a rollercoaster. I was pretty healthy throughout my whole junior career and throughout college. Fortunately, I saw success early on in my pro career but I have also had to deal with injuries here and there throughout 2016, 2017, and 2018. These were injuries that I never had to deal with before, so it’s been hard. I learned that you are not going to win that often at this level, which was something I was not used to in juniors. It has been a tough road, and I almost put down my racquet in 2019 because I didn’t see a lot of improvement in my happiness and my ranking but because of some friends and family I have become stronger.”
4. What has been your favorite country to travel to?
Noah Rubin: “The mix of success and me enjoying the destination has always been Australia. My girlfriend constantly asks to go there so I’ll have to take her someday. There are extreme sports fans there and as a tennis player you feel appreciated there.”
5. What did your elbow injury in 2019 make you realize?
Noah Rubin: “My playstyle isn’t good for my body type. There is so much pressure in the sport of tennis, and you never really understand when to take time off. You will lose your ranking and not make any money when taking time off. The grueling seasons inevitably lead to a lot of injuries for players. You don’t want to take time off, but you have to play for 11 months because other players do.”
6. When did your elbow force you to take time off?
Noah Rubin: “I found this better state of mind around the US Open. It was the second time I played Seppi that I realized I was in some tough pain and it was from overuse.”
7. What was your greatest accomplishment in 2019 on or off the court?
Noah Rubin: “It’s tough to say that behind the racquet wasn’t the top accomplishment of 2019 but I think what went unnoticed at the time was that I found a new mentality. I found a place where I can be happy and play tennis and do everything that I love, and I really credit the people closest to me.”
His Passion For Behind The Racket
8. I know you made a positive impact off the court starting your mental health awareness page, Behind the Racket. Can you tell our viewers what that is about and what prompted you to start that?
Noah Rubin: “I wanted to get fans to the point where they feel connected with the players they are watching and show fans that tennis isn’t as glamorous as they might think.”
9. Did you see it getting this big?
Noah Rubin: “I didn’t think it would get this big. I came up with this idea while laying in my bed one day. It is amazing to see that it is now a driving factor in a lot of people’s lives. Making an impact on others’ lives really keeps me going.”
Click Here to View His Behind The Racquet Instagram Page
Noah’s Thoughts On Expectations
10. What are your goals in 2020, both on and off the court?
Noah Rubin: “No expectations. Expectations are the reason for a lot of negativity and anxiety. I’m at a place right now where I’m doing all I possibly can to be the best tennis player right now and further behind the racquet. All I can attest to is there is going to be an immense amount of effort put into both, and that’s all I can say or do.”
Noah Rubin’s Piece Of Advice For Young Players
11. If you could give one piece of advice for young players what would you tell them?
Noah Rubin: “Riding the fine line of understanding the urgency of getting better while at the same time respecting the process. One day doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It will take years to improve, so understand the urgency of improving and patience.”
It was a pleasure interviewing Noah. He truly cares about the sport of tennis.
Who would you like to see me interview next? Maybe I can make it happen!