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.