Monthly Archives: August 2014

Rubin Falls in Open Debut Tuesday

It’s been quite a summer for 18-year-old Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre. The Wake Forest-bound freshman won the Wimbledon Juniors title and followed that up with a championship at the USTA 18s title in Kalamazoo, Mich. While the former may have had more international cachet, particularly to casual tennis fans, it was the latter that earned Rubin a wild card entry into the main draw into the US Open.

In just his second pro tournament (he accepted a Wild Card into Winston-Salem last week), Rubin drew Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, a 23-year-old who came into the Open ranked No. 66. With a packed Court 13 crowd solidly behind him, Rubin was strong early before falling in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0.

“I learned that I can definitely compete with these guys at the best level,” he said. “If I stayed on serve throughout the whole first set, who knows what would have happened. If I kept the momentum going, I probably would have had more opportunities but just didn’t capitalize on it.”

The big crowd, opening match jitters and Delbonis’ lefty stroke put Rubin in an early 3-0 hole. Though Rubin got one of the break points back and closed to 2-3, his Argentine opponent’s experience proved critical.

In the second set, Delbonis broke in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead and wouldn’t lose a game the rest of the way.

Rubin has played here in Flushing Meadows before, competing in the US Open juniors. But the big stage of the main draw was a different experience.

“It’s completely different sports,” he added. “The pros, they are doing it for a living. Been out here for so long. The experience is a different level. Fitness is at a different level. So it’s definitely something to get used to.”

Sam Querry, another American who rose through the ranks of juniors, had a bit of advice for Rubin.

“My advice to guys is to try to put your head down and battle through futures and champions,” he said. “I think he has a good game to move up the ranks. I know he’s going to college for a year, so try to dominate the next level and get in the Tour events as quick as he can.”

In all, Rubin, who also earned a wild card into the main doubles draw with partner and friend Stefan Kozlov and will play on Wednesday, is using his first Slam as a learning experience.

“I’m just trying to show everbody I can compete at this level and try to make people proud of me,” he explained. “I’m just getting used to the atmosphere, getting used to being out there with the best players in the world.

“It’s nice to know I belong here and I’m not just taking a vacation here just seeing what it’s like and going back. I deserve to be here and work to stay here.”

Djokovic, McEnroe, JMTA Stars Join Others In JMTP Fundraiser

Novak Djokovic is not just regarded as one of the best tennis players in history but also as one of the most generous.

The Wimbledon champion and world No. 1 took time out of his preparations for the U.S. Open to join John McEnroe and a slew of celebrities at the tennis fundraiser for the non-profit Johnny Mac Tennis Project Thursday night at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Sportime at Randall’s Island.

The event was organized to raise funds and awareness for the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a non-profit organization, which is making the sport of tennis accessible to New York City children who normally would not think to play the sport of cannot afford it.

“This is a noble cause” said Djokovic of the Johnny Mac Tennis Project Thursday. “I am happy to be here to help raise funds and raise more awareness for tennis in New York, the community and of course this tennis center.”

McEnroe spoke about Djokovic and tennis in the United States and in New York City in this short clip from his pre-match meeting with the press here.

Djokovic and McEnroe were joined by New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Academy Award-nominated actor Ed Norton, Jr. along with Wimbledon semifinalist Lucie Safarova and John McEnroe Tennis Academy students Noah Rubin, the reigning Wimbledon junior champion, and Jamie Loeb, the top-ranked women’s college player last year at the University of North Carolina. Other bold faced names in the sell-out crowd of 1,500 included actor Danny DeVito, TV commentator Sean Hannity and Boris Becker, Djokovic’s coach.

The evening began as Safarova beat Loeb 6-3, following by Djokovic beating Rubin 8-5. McEnroe and Lundqvist then teamed to beat Norton and Djokovic 4-3, decided by a sudden-death point tiebreaker at 9-9 by chair umpire and media personality Mike Lupica.

The Johnny Mac Tennis Project, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity whose purpose is to expose young athletes in the greater New York metropolitan area to the life-changing sport of tennis without regard to their economic circumstance. To this end, JMTP raises public and private funds in order to provide tennis academy scholarships and financial assistance to New York City Metropolitan area children. JMTP promotes the lifelong sport of tennis to and for players of all levels, from introductory programs that reach out to schools and neighborhoods in surrounding communities, to world-class tournament training for aspiring professionals. For NYC juniors striving to achieve at the highest levels of the game, JMTP funds the costs associated with travel to regional, national and international tournaments and provides on-site coaching.

To read more about McEnroe’s commitment to tennis in the United States and New York, click here.

Rubin Edged By Klahn In Tour Debut In Winston-Salem

A great effort by Noah Rubin fell just short yesterday at the Winston-Salem Open, as he fell in a third-set tiebreak, 6-2, 0-6, 7-6 (5), to Bradley Klahn. It marked the ATP World Tour debut for the Wimbledon junior and USTA Boys National singles and doubles champion.

Winston-Salem happens to be the home of Wake Forest University, at which Rubin will matriculate in a few weeks.

Rubin told John Delong at “It was a great atmosphere, at my second home now, so it was just a great experience to get out there. I thought I came up with a good effort and just came up a little bit short. But I’ll get many more chances, hopefully.”

Klahn entered the match ranked at No. 117.

Read the rest of the wrapup article here.

Rubin will compete in the Johnny Mac Tennis Project benefit at SPORTIME Randall’s Island on Thursday.

John McEnroe Takes The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Novak Djokovic

Thank you Henrik Lundqvist for nominating John McEnroe!

John accepts the #ALSicebucketchallenge and he now challenges Novak Djokovic to complete the challenge before next Thursday’s event at Sportime Randall’s Island where John, Novak, Henrik Lundqvist and Edward Norton will play to benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project.



WAG Magazine Looks At Lake Isle

A recent article in WAG Magazine, a lifestyle publication, brings out some of the best things about SPORTIME Lake Isle and the good work being done by JMTA coaches, led by Fritz Buehning, and students there.

From the piece:

Sportime – which leases the property from the town of Eastchester, owner of Lake Isle – put $6.5 million into creating a facility with a cheery, contemporary 5,000-square-foot clubhouse and eight Har-Tru courts. McEnroe – a former world No. 1 singles and doubles player who serves as a commentator for NBC and plays on what he calls “the old fogeys’ tour” – still finds time to coach regularly at his academies.

Read more here.

Author, Media Personality Mike Lupica Added As Guest Chair Umpire For August 21 Johnny Mac Tennis Project Event at Sportime Randall’s Island

The Johnny Mac Tennis Project today announced that New York media personality and best-selling author Mike Lupica will serve as a guest chair umpire on Thursday August 21 at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island, for its the 2014 benefit night. Lupica will join the announced lineup of Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Hall of Famer John McEnroe, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton, World No. 17 Lucie Safarova, 2014 Wimbledon Junior Boys’ and now USTA National Boys 18’s Champion Noah Rubin, NCAA Number One Jamie Loeb, for a fun night of tennis prior to this year’s 2014 US Open.

“I am very pleased that my old friend Mike has decided to join us for a fun night of tennis that will raise funds to help us continue our mission of bringing tennis to young people in and around New York City” McEnroe said. “He better bring his eyeglasses though, because if he misses any line calls, he’ll be hearing from me.”

The JMTP benefit night will feature Djokovic, World No. 1 and 2014 Wimbledon champion, taking on John McEnroe Tennis Academy star Noah Rubin, the 2014 Wimbledon Junior Boys’ champion who more recently won the 2014 US National Boys 18 title in Kalamazoo, MI, earning him a wild card into the main draw of the upcoming US Open at Flushing Meadows. The evening will open with a match-up of 2014 Wimbledon singles semifinalist Lucie Safarova taking on another McEnroe Academy standout, Jamie Loeb, who recently finished her freshman year at North Carolina as the 2014 NCAA Player of the Year. The benefit night will conclude with the eagerly awaited pro-celebrity doubles match featuring Djokovic, McEnroe, Lundqvist and Norton, with long-time NY Daily News columnist and ESPN Radio personality Mike Lupica presiding from the umpire’s chair. All net proceeds from the evening will go to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity formed in 2011.

The twin purposes of JMTP are:

  • To make tennis accessible to hundreds and even thousands of under-resourced kids from the NYC communities surrounding Randall’s Island each year, and to do so in a manner that allows those kids to excel at the game of tennis and to progress as far as their talent and interest takes them.
  • To help train a smaller group of NYC kids to be serious players, with many receiving college scholarships, with the hope that someday soon many of those young athletes will be coming out of these community programs and outreach efforts.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012) and Jim Courier (2013). JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided more than $1.5 million in scholarships and no-cost programming to young players in New York City and its communities. Sportime Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.

Tickets to the event start at $75. To purchase tickets, and for more information about special VIP packages, corporate packages or to become a sponsor, go to, call (888) 988-6921 or e-mail

Rubin Completes Sweep Of Singles, Doubles In Kalamazoo, Earns US Open Wild Cards

When Noah Rubin’s new classmates at Wake Forest ask him what he did this summer, he’ll have quite a list to rattle off. The Wimbledon juniors champion and John McEnroe Tennis Academy student completed a sweep of the singles and doubles championships at the USTA Boys 18’s National Championships this weekend, defeating defending champion Collin Altamirano in three straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in singles action in the final today.

He teamed with Stefan Kozlov as the No. 2 seeded duo to win yesterday’s doubles championship, 6-2, 6-2 over Altamirano and Deiton Baughman.

Rubin, the No. 3 seed, won seven matches in the 128-player draw, dropping just two sets along the way.

The two victories earn Rubin the automatic wild card entries into the main draw of the US Open singles and doubles championships later this month in Flushing. Play begins in men’s singles on Monday, August 25.

He also became the first to win the Wimbledon juniors and USTA Boys 18s titles in the same year since Van Winitsky in 1977.

Noah has had a tremendous summer, and by following up the Wimbledon title with his wins at Kalamazoo he has shown exceptional resolve and determination,” said Hall of Famer JohnMcEnroe, “Everyone at the Academy is excited to welcome him home and also, to see him play against Novak Djokovic on August 21 at the Johnny Mac Tennis Project benefit match at SPORTIME Randall’s Island and then to see what he can do in the US Open the following week. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to play Novak again in the first round.”

“Noah played very well today in his first best of five match. He got broken serving for each of the first two sets at 5-2 but held at love serving for them again at 5-4,” said JMTA and SPORTIME Director of Tennis Lawrence Kleger. “Other than those two hiccups he played a near flawless match. Winning singles and doubles here is quite a feat so I am extremely proud of his accomplishment. I’m thinking he is going to be a tough out in men’s draw at the Open!”

In addition to McEnroe, Rubin and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the JMTP benefit will also feature Wimbledon Semifinalist Lucie Safarova, National College Player of the Year and JMTP product Jamie Loeb, N.Y. Rangers superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and actor Edward Norton for a gala evening of tennis and fun.

Claude Okin, CEO of Sportime clubs, explained, “Sportime’s commitment to and investment in Noah Rubin began more than a decade ago, and grew over time with Noah, as our commitment, partnered with Johnny Mac, to develop future generations of college players and pros right here in New York has taken hold. Noah’s story shows that tennis is local, and that those of us who love the game must invest in future generations of players locally, where great players are made. If only the USTA has the resources to try to develop great American players, there will never be another generation of them, and Noah Rubin proves that. Sportime, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy and our charitable arm are 100% committed to finding and supporting more Noah Rubins in the years to come. But mostly, we are just thrilled for Noah, who is a wonderful and humble young man and who has blown the tennis world away this summer.”

Rubin Tops Tiafoe, Rolls Into USTA Semis

It was deja vu all over again for Noah Rubin today, as the third-seed from Long Island kept up his solid play at the USTA Boys 18s in Kalamazoo, besting Francis Tiafoe, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to the semifinals. Rubin beat Tiafoe on his way to the Wimbledon juniors title earlier this summer.

Rubin next faces No. 7 seed Michael Mmoh in Saturday’s semifinal.

In doubles, Rubin teamed with buddy Stefan Kozlov to advance to the semifinals, a hard-fought 2-6, 6-2, 1-0 (6) win doing the trick.

The Zoo Tennis blogspot had a nice piece today, getting their thoughts on the idea of no-ad scoring in NCAA play. The rising freshman at Wake Forest comes out vehemently against the format change.

“It’s not how I feel about it, it’s just that pros is ad,” he told blogger Colette Lewis.  “It’s very simple. We go to school to get the best tennis we can, to prepare for professional tennis, which is what a lot of these guys are doing and the fact that they’re changing the rules just so it could be quicker for TV and stuff like this is a little absurd.”

Read more here.

Rubin Advances To Kalamazoo 18s Quarterfinals

Noah Rubin continued his hot summer today, following up his Wimbledon juniors title with four straight wins at the USTA National Tennis Championship Boys 18s at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

Rubin, the No. 3 seed, topped Mitch Stewart, 6-1, 7-5, and will take on a familiar foe in No. 6 Francis Tiafoe of Maryland. Rubin topped Tiafoe to advance to the Wimbledon quarterfinals on his title run.

Rubin has also teamed with his friend and fellow Wimbledon finalist Stefan Kozlov in doubles competition. The second-seeded duo has won two matches, both in straights, after a first-round bye and take on the 14th-seeded team in the quarters.

Follow Noah’s progress here.

John McEnroe Tennis Academy To Move Long Island Base To Syosset This Fall

Below is today’s big announcement that the JMTA is moving its Long Island base to SPORTIME Syosset… the flagship JMTA location remains at SPORTIME Randall’s Island…

The John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) today announced that it will be accommodating its growing Long Island base of students with a move of its home facility on Long Island to SPORTIME Syosset Tennis & Multi-Sport this fall. The flagship JMTA location remains at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, and SPORTIME Bethpage will remain a valuable Academy resource.

Long Island JMTA students will benefit immediately from the more easily accessible location of SPORTIME Syosset (75 Haskett Drive) as well as its larger and more diverse space. In addition to a much larger functional training room, a full multi-sport court, a large pro-shop with on-site stringing service, the beautiful SPORTIME Syosset facility offers both hard court (deco-turf) and clay (har-tru) surfaces, ideal for tournament training throughout the competitive seasons.

Private coaching and match play will now be available at SPORTIME Bethpage with more day/time options, as well as an expanded schedule of “home club” tournaments.

The Academy is really starting to take hold here on Long Island,” said Mike Kossoff, JMTA Director, “And with SPORTIME and JMTA student Noah Rubin having just won the Wimbledon Junior title, the phones have been ringing. The move to SPORTIME Syosset, with its multiple surfaces, larger training space, and other amenities, will help foster that growth for all of our students, including the many elite players who train with us.”

For more information on the JMTA, visit For more on SPORTIME Syosset, visit


SPORTIME is proud to operate the finest tennis facilities in New York State, with over 160 indoor and outdoor courts at 13 clubs across Long Island, in NYC, in Westchester and in the NY Capital Region. SPORTIME strives to provide its members with welcoming and comfortable environments and the best instructional programs anywhere. SPORTIME’s “fitness for real life” philosophy is reflected in clubs that are state-of-the-art, yet affordable, and that offer the best tennis facilities and instruction, along with great gyms, camps and sports and fitness programs. SPORTIME is most proud to be the home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Randall’s Island since 2010, and home the JMTA Annexes at Syosset and Bethpage, Long Island; and Lake Isle, Eastchester, since 2012.