Category Archives: Featured Pro

Noah Rubin Helps NY Empire To First WTT Win

Noah Rubin had sat on the NY Sportimes bench a few times when the Mylan World TeamTennis franchise was housed at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, but he never had a chance to suit up for Claude Okin’s squad.

The old Sportimes are just a memory, as they shuffled off to San Diego a couple of years back. But a new N.Y. team made its debut this year, the New York Empire, coached by Patrick McEnroe, and when a spot opened up on the team roster for Wednesday’s match against the Springfield Lasers, McEnroe needed to look no further than a few miles west to JMTA to find Rubin, back after an ankle injury and ready to hit the multi-colored courts at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club.

That turned out to be quite a smart move, as Rubin contributed nine of the team’s 19 points in the Empire’s 19-15 victory over visiting Springfield, including a 5-2 doubles win and a narrow, 5-4 singles defeat in which he held three set points.

“It’s a different experience playing in a team situation,” said Rubin, who teamed with Neal Skupski for the doubles win. “In some ways there is less pressure, because you have a team behind you, but in some ways there is more pressure because they are depending on you.”

Rubin’s heroics helped Patrick’s team win its first match after three defeats. He will next compete at the ATP World Tour event in Los Cabos, Mexico, beginning on Monday.

Rubin Wins Indian Wells Qualies; Loeb WC Into Main Draw

JMTA’s star pros Noah Rubin and Jamie Loeb will be on full display in front of the tennis world today at the huge BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., with both ready for main draw action today.

Rubin advanced through qualifying, bouncing Dennis Novikov to advance to the main draw, where he will take on Rajeev Ram, an American ranked No. 63. The Rubin-Ram match is scheduled fifth on Stadium 3 (first match begins at 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET).

Loeb, issued a wild card into the main bracket, has drawn Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas, ranked No. 87. That match is first on Stadium 5 at 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET.

Follow matches in progress here.

JMTA Coach Phillip Simmonds Partners with World No. 46 Madison Brengle

JMTA coach Phillip Simmonds accompanied WTA player Madison Brengle to a very successful trip abroad during the Australian Open. The team that paired up during the US Open trained together previously at IMG in Bradenton, Florida. Madison had some great results, reaching her first WTA final in Hobart as well as a 4th round appearance in the Australian Open.

With her ranking nearly cutting in half, Madison is currently ranked 46 (a career high). En route to securing her current ranking Madison defeated the #13 player in the world Andrea Petkovic along with a number of other women within the top 100.

Madison looks to continue her good form with the help of Phillip moving forward into the early spring and the European swing of events coming up which will include the French Open and Wimbledon.

Rubin Advances Through To Finals In Poitiers, France Futures

Though Noah Rubin’s run ended today in the finals of the $15K Future in Poitiers, France, it was a tournament to remember for the 18-year-old as he turned plenty of heads with his run through qualifying, into the main draw, and past four others and into the championship, where he lost to top-seeded David Guez of France 6-4, 6-0.

Rubin’s quarterfinal win on Friday, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 over No. 2 seed Gregoire Burquier of France propelled him into the semis, where he took out another Frenchman, Sadio Doumbia in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Noah now heads to Saint-Raphael, France for a $10K event.

Loeb and Rubin Continue Winning at the Pro Level

JMTA’ers Jamie Loeb and Noah Rubin are in Florida this week competing in pro level tournaments.

Coming off of an impressive first semester of NCAA DI tennis, North Carolina freshman Jamie Loeb received a wild card into the Tesoro Challenger, a $25,000 pro level event.  She dismantled 8th seed, Hungarian Reka-Luca Jani, earlier in the week 6-2, 6-3, and Thursday morning defeated the 8th ranked junior in the world and fellow New Yorker, Lousia Chirico, in a streaky 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 victory. Next up for Jamie is Canadian qualifier Francoise Abanda, with the winner earning a spot in the semifinals. Jamie’s match against Louisa had her coach, Felix Alvarado, on an emotional roller coaster.  “I am happy with her results this week,” said Felix, “The extra time she spent outdoors on the clay definitely helped her.  Both Jamie and Francoise are coming off of tough 3 set matches, so their quarterfinal match should be a good one.  I am excited for it and confident that Jamie will come out swinging.”   The pair has played once before when Abanda squeaked out a 3-set victory over Loeb.  Loeb will try to even out the score later this week.

Also in Florida this week and competing in the City of Sunrise Pro Tennis Series, is soon to be 18 year old Noah Rubin.  Noah, unlike Jamie, had to qualify for the main draw and did so by winning four consecutive matches.  In the main draw, Noah continued his winning ways by beating fellow American Sekou Bangoura 6-3, 6-2 in the first round before ousting Portuguese Leonardo Tavares 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.  Noah’s coach, JTMA Director Lawrence Kleger, commented on Noah’s ability to persevere, “After leading for most of the first set, serving for it at 5-4 and then losing the set 5-7, most players would pack it in and say ‘It’s not my day.’  Noah just never stops fighting.  That is why he’s special.”  Noah’s quarterfinal match will be against 6th seeded player, Adam Pavlasek of the Czech Republic.

Rafa to Join JMTA?

According to a recent New York Times article, “someone asked [Rafael Nadal] about the trend of elite players hiring retired elite players. [Nadal] smiled, and he joked, ‘I am thinking with McEnroe for me now.’”  Despite Nadal’s pedestrian career thus far – only 13 Grand Slam titles and an Olympic Gold Medal – McEnroe would still take a chance on him.  “The kid’s a good player”, says Mac, “ and he does have an asteroid named after him, and that’s pretty cool.  So, I am fulfilling his request of becoming my student by offering him a full scholarship to join the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in my hometown of New York City.”

Toni Nadal, Rafael Nadal’s uncle and current coach, has led Rafa into the conversation of being one of the greatest players of all-time.  So when asked the obvious question, why Nadal would switch to JMTA after having so much success with his coaching team, McEnroe said, “Success?  8 French Open titles sounds pretty good, but he has won the other grand slams only once or twice.  I need to help him beef up his hard and grass court games.”

“I am willing to help,” said Mac, “and my scholarship offer is proof of that.”

To read the full New York Times article, click here.

Noah Rubin Named As Practice Player for US Davis Cup Team for Match versus Great Britain

JMTA’s Noah Rubin has received the honor of being named as a practice player for the U.S. Davis Cup team in its up-coming match against Great Britain in San Diego on January 31-February 2nd.  Noah will join Captain Jim Courier and likely U.S. team members John Isner, Sam Querrey and the Bryan Brothers as the U.S. begins its quest to win back the Cup for the first time since 2007 against a strong team from Great Britain, expected to be led by current world #4, Andy Murray. No one knows the significance of the Davis Cup better than our own John McEnroe.  John was on five US Davis Cup winning teams and served as its captain, and is given credit for revitalizing US interest in Davis Cup competition.

Shout-Out to JMTA Pros and NYC Marathon Runners Greg Evans and Taylor Dupre

Taylor Dupre running in the ING NYC Marathon

Taylor Dupre running in the ING NYC Marathon

The ING NYC Marathon was this past Sunday and JMTA was well represented. While Johnny Mac was a presence on TV at the finish line of the race, two JMTA pros – Tennis Director Greg Evans and Senior Pro Taylor Dupre actually ran the race. Greg and Taylor set out early Sunday morning to not only beat their own individual goals, but to also raise money for worthy causes.  Taylor was scheduled to run the marathon in 2012, but with that race cancelled due to Superstorm Sandy, he had to wait another 12 months to get their taste of one of the world’s great events.

Hailing from South Africa, Greg is no rookie runner.  He has run in multiple marathons and various other distance races in both South Africa and the U.S.  To prepare for the marathon, Greg and his wife Megan road-tripped down to D.C. to participate in the Marine Corp 10K.  Greg’s goal entering Sunday was to beat 3:45:00.  He not only beat his goal and finished in 3:39:41, but also raised $7,100 for Waterside School, which serves lower income families and helps place students into independent schools around the area.

Taylor has been working with the Michael J. Fox Foundation (which supports Parkinson’s research) for the past two years and raised over $11,000 for the foundation by running in this year’s marathon.  Taylor’s goal was to beat 3:30:00, which he did (3:22:44). Taylor’s father and co-worker, our own Adult Director, Andre Dupre, commented that with Taylor is getting up there in years (27 years old!), he needed to start taking better care of his body.  “When Taylor decided to run in the 2012 marathon” Andre said, “he also decided to make a lifestyle change.  He began watching what he ate incredibly closely, working out constantly, and taking care of his body much better.  Taylor is now in the best shape of his life and I am very proud of him.”

Congratulations to Taylor and Greg for finishing the NYC marathon, beating their race time goals, raising thousands of dollars for charity, and representing the JMTA well!

Even though the race is over, you can still donate and support the Waterside School by clicking here.

JMTA Announces 2013-14 Seminar Series Topics and Speakers

Lawrence Kleger, Director of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, recently announced the 2013-14 JMTA Seminar Series. Over the course of the JMTA season, Lawrence and other JMTA, Sportime, and USTA representatives will be hosting a series of seminars designed to give parents and students insight into what it takes to succeed in today’s competitive junior tennis environment.  This 8 part seminar series begins Sunday, October 27th when Lawrence takes the podium in an “Ask the Director” session.  Other topics that will be covered and the speakers include: The College Process, with former Brown University head coach and current Sportime Roslyn General Manager, Jay Harris; USTA Eastern Section Tournament Schedule and 2014 National Junior Competition Changes, with Julie Bliss of USTA Eastern section; A Coaches Perspective: What it Means to be a Coach?, hosted by JMTA Assistant Academy Director, Nate Emge;  The Parent’s Role, with JMTA Assistant Academy Director,  Felix Alvarado; Mental Toughness, with JMTA Assistant Academy Director,  Bruce Haddad; Off-Court Training, with former world top ten singles and doubles player and JMTA Associate Academy Director, Peter Fleming; and What it Takes to be a Champion, with none other than Johnny Mac himself.

JMTA Featured Pro – Martina Sucha

JMTA Pro Martina Sucha

    JMTA Pro Martina Sucha

Martina, native of Slovakia, turned pro in 1996, reaching her career-high singles ranking of #37 in the world in 2002. Martina won 2 WTA singles titles (Hobart, Australia and Quebec, Canada) and 7 International Tennis Federation titles (5 in singles and 2 in doubles). Her best Grand Slam singles results were a 4th round appearance at the Australian Open in 2002 and a 3rd round appearance at the 2001 US Open. She was a member of a Slovakian Federation Cup team in 2002, 2004 and 2005, and she represented Slovakia in the 2004 Athens Olympics. She retired from the WTA circuit in 2008 and began her work as a coach. From 2009-2010, Martina worked with a top Slovak junior player, Chantal Skamlova, helping her reach a #22 world junior ranking.

JMTA Featured Pro – Hana Sromova

Hana Sromova

Hana Sromova
JMTA Touring Professional

Hana, a native of CzechRepublic, was a top ranked junior tennis player in her home country, and competed globally on the ITF circuit. She turned pro in 1997, and earned 8 ITF singles titles and 35 doubles titles. In 2006, Hana reached her career high WTA rankings of #87 in the world in singles and #63 in doubles. Hana competed in the U.S. Open in 2006 and 2008, reached the second round of the French Open and Australian Open in 2006 and the second round at Wimbledon in 2007. Hana was a member of the NY Sportimes World TeamTennis franchise in 2007 and 2008. After retiring from the professional circuit in 2008, Hana joined Sportime as a teaching professional and the Co-General Manager of Sportime Amagansett. Hana moved to Sportime Randall’s Island and JMTA on a full-time basis in 2012.

Featured JMTA Pro – Nate Emge

Nate Emge

Nate Emge
JMTA Assistant Academy Director

Assistant Academy Director Nate Emge is a native of Evansville, Indiana. Nate was ranked in the top 25 of the U.S. juniors, and participated on the ITF circuit, reaching the finals in doubles at the International Hard Courts in 2001. Prior to that, Nate was the Florida 3A singles and team champion. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Nate played as high as #1 and reached a U.S. collegiate singles ranking of #41 in 2007. During his time at Kentucky, Nate also played several futures events on the USTA Pro Circuit and earned an ATP doubles ranking. After graduating, Nate was an Assistant Coach at Michigan State University from 2008-2009 before moving to New York and joining the Sportime staff. Nate was named Assistant Academy Director of JMTA in 2012.