Tag Archives: US Open

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.”

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 JMTPBenefit.com, call (888) 988-6921 or e-mail JMTP2014@sportimeny.com.

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, Loeb Added To JMTP Benefit With Pros Djokovic, Safarova

Noah Rubin and Jamie Loeb, who have made big splashes in the tennis world in recent weeks, will have another big day in the spotlight on August 21, when they join Wimbledon men’s champion Novak Djokovic and women’s semifinalist Lucie Safarova in competing in the Johnny Mac Tennis Project Benefit at SPORTIME Randall’s Island.

John McEnroe, Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton and others will participate in the massive Pre-US Open fundraiser.

“I want to personally thank Novak for donating his time in support of my foundation, Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe. “This a tremendous opportunity for two of our brightest JMTA stars to show their skills against the best in tennis. All of us at JMTA are so proud of what Noah and Jamie have accomplished, and also excited that a player of Lucie’s caliber has added her support to this special night.”

Loeb will take on Safarova, currently ranked at No. 17 on the WTA Tour, at 6:30 p.m., followed by Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon men’s singles champion, against Rubin at 7:30.

Rubin, 18, of Long Island, advanced through qualifying, winning eight matches – six in the main draw – on the Wimbledon grass to claim the junior title. He defeated sixth-seeded Stefan Kozlov in the finals to cap a run that also included wins over the seventh and 12th seeds.

Loeb, 19, from Ossining, N.Y., had an incredible year at UNC, recording a 53-4 singles mark, including 19-1 in the fall, racking up the most single-season wins in UNC history, and helping the Tar Heels to the National championship match. The ITA All-American in singles and doubles is also the first UNC female player to be the top-ranked singles player in the country.

Safarova, 27, is a native of the Czech Republic. She has won five titles since turning pro in 2002, most recently in Quebec City last year. In addition to her semifinal run at Wimbledon, which included a win over 10th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, Safarova reached the fourth round at Roland Garros. Her current ranking matches her career best.

The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Djokovic, McEnroe and their guests, Lundqvist and Norton, both almost as serious about their tennis as they are about their day jobs, as well as other promising junior players from the JMTA, a lively auction and great hospitality, with all net proceeds to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

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 over $1.5 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities.

JMTA Juniors hope for US Open Wild Card

JMTA Player Jamie Loeb

JMTA Player Jamie Loeb

“The USTA has announced another series of Pro Circuit events to decide a men’s and a women’s wild card to this year’s US Open. As they did last year and this year for the reciprocal French Open wild card, and last year for a US Open wild card, the USTA will award a wild card to one American man and one American women who has the highest total of ATP/WTA points in several designated tournaments.

This year a men’s wild card will be given to the player with the best two results in four tournaments–the $50,000 Binghamton Challenger, the $50,000 Lexington Challenger, the $100,000 Vancouver Challenger and the $100,000 Aptos Challenger. Last year Steve Johnson won the wild card by winning Aptos, the only one of the four tournaments he played, while Mallory Burdette made the quarterfinals of Lexington and won Vancouver, which is not one of the three women’s events this year. The women’s wild card this year will be decided based on points won in two of these three tournaments: the $50,000 Yakima Challenger, the $50,000 Portland Challenger and the $50,000 Lexington Challenger.

The usta.com article, which mentions that all these tournaments will have live streams, is here. The fact sheets are on the Pro Circuit home page. Holding US passports and being eligible for US Davis Cup or US Fed Cup participation are requirements.

An official announcement is expected next week, but Jamea Jackson is leaving her position as  Oklahoma State’s women’s assistant to join USTA Player Development as a National Coach. The 26-year-old Jackson, who spent four seasons with the Cowgirls, is a former WTA Top 50 player and US Fed Cup competitor. For more on what led to her early retirement from the WTA Tour, see this article.

The draws for the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton have been released, with the ITF Junior No. 1s the top seeds. French Open girls champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, who lost today in the semifinals of a $25,000 outdoor clay challenger in her home country, but won the doubles title, will play wild card Alannah Griffin in Sunday’s first round, while boys top seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia meets Stefan Kozlov of the US.

Kozlov is joined in the boys draw by Martin Redlicki, Noah Rubin, Luca Corinteli and Spencer Papa, none of whom are seeded.

The US girls in the draw are qualifiers Dasha Ivanova and Katrine Steffensen, as well as Johnnise Renaud, Tornado Alicia Black, Jamie Loeb, No. 3 seed Taylor Townsend and No. 9 seed Louisa Chirico.

Bencic is not entered in the Wimbledon juniors, but may be getting a wild card. Australian Open boys finalist Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia was given a wild card into Roehampton and may also be requesting one for Wimbledon. Kokkinakis would play No. 2 seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia in the second round if they both win their opening matches.

German Antonia Lottner, who lost to Bencic in the French Open girls final, won a $10,000 tournament this weekend in Germany. She has recently withdrawn from the Wimbledon juniors.

The European grass season for juniors is very short, just three tournaments, with the first one, a Grade 2 in Germany, just finished. No. 4 seed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine won the girls singles and doubles, while unseeded Lucas Gomez of Mexico took the boys singles title.

The Roehampton draws and order of play for Sunday is available on the LTA website.

Article written by Zoo tennis staff member Colette Lewis