Tag Archives: Wimbledon

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.

Noah Rubin Featured On WCBS, WABC TV; Feted At CitiField

The New York sports scene has caught up to Noah Rubin following his run through to the Wimbledon Juniors title.

WCBS-TV and WABC-TV both met up with him at SPORTIME Randall’s Island on Wednesday (see videos below), and the Mets invited him, coach Lawrence Kleger and Noah’s Dad Eric to their game Thursday night.

Before the game, Rubin met another star on the rise, Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, as well as backup catcher Luke Recker. He received a hero’s welcome from the team as he appeared on the large video board in the second inning, to rousing applause.

 

JMTA and SPORTIME Director of Tennis Lawrence Kleger Discusses Rubin Wimbledon Victory, Recent JMTA Success

JMTA and SPORTIME Director of Tennis Lawrence Kleger took a few minutes from a whirlwind past few days to discuss Noah Rubin’s resounding Wimbledon Juniors title and the continued success that JMTA has experienced.

JMTA Blog: It has been a pretty remarkable spring at JMTA, between the success of some of the kids at elite tournaments, Jamie Loeb at North Carolina and now Noah’s breakthrough, what is the secret to the way the Academy is going?

Lawrence Kleger: I believe that there are no secrets in running a successful academy. It’s about dedication and hard work. Our coaching staff at JMTA is world-class, and they put in long hours and are willing to do whatever it takes to elevate our students to the next level. But if there is one area where I believe we excel it would be the positive way we challenge and motivate our athletes.  We hold our students to a very high standard of attitude and effort, but we do so in an encouraging way that brings out the best in each and every player. Our Student Code of Conduct and our carefully designed curriculums provide the framework and structure for our academy’s success.  And we have what no other academy has—John McEnroe—arguably the greatest competitor in the history of tennis.

JMTAB: Some people see Noah’s win as surprising, were you surprised and why or why not? 

LK: To be honest, nothing that Noah accomplishes surprises me. He has won at every level including the ITF Professional Futures circuit. So while Noah winning the Wimbledon Junior Championship was a thrill, it was not a shock. That is why I am so convinced that he will be successful on the ATP Tour in the very near future. However, to be honest, I did not think that grass was Noah’s best surface. I will now have to reconsider that assessment!

JMTAB:You have always talked about the value of college; what did a year in college now mean to Jamie as a tennis player and what could it mean to Noah?

LK: I think her coach at JMTA Felix Alvarado would agree that Jamie had a spectacular Freshman year at the University of North Carolina. Aside from being on her own and gaining the maturity one gains from the college experience, Jamie was able to improve her strength, fitness, and her play under pressure. Jamie was a highly touted freshman and was the team’s best player. That came with built in pressure. Every time Jamie walked on the court, her team was counting on her to win. I think that is the kind of pressure I would like Noah to be under. And of course I would like him to have a great college experience like Jamie’s. Being away from home, being independent, and being a mature, self-sufficient adult.

JMTAB: American tennis has taken some hits recently; were you surprised at the run of several boys in the juniors at Wimbledon and what will it take to sustain such play at the professional level down the line? 

LK: Obviously it was a great showing by the American juniors and hopefully we can sustain it. I know Patrick McEnroe is working very hard to see that it happens. I believe that the more the USTA and private academies and private coaches work together, the better the chances of seeing Americans regain their lost stature in the expanding world of tennis. I think that this is starting to happen and that has to be good news if we want to produce top players.

JMTAB: Who are some of the other faces we should be watching at JMTA this summer?

LK: Jessica Golovin, age 16 is already competing well at the ITF level. Sabrina Xiong, 17, should have a terrific summer at the Girls 18 Nationals. I believe Oliver Sec, 16, who has committed to UC-Santa Barbara for the fall, is ready to make a big impact on the ITF Junior Circuit in the coming months.  He is 6’2”, athletic and has really improved his physicality on the court. The JMTA’s Williams sisters, Brianna and Chelsea, have been sidelined with some minor injuries, but seem to be getting healthy; and that is bad news for whomever has to play them this summer. JMTA also has some of the best 12 and under talent in the country and we are expecting some impressive results in the younger age groups at clay courts and hard courts.

Noah Rubin Upends #12 Seed At Wimbledon Juniors, Advances To Round of 16

His second consecutive straight set victory in hand, a strong 6-3, 7-5 triumph over 12th-seeded Kamil Majchrzak of Poland today has propelled Noah Rubin to the third round of the Boys’ Singles draw at Wimbledon.

Rubin faces an even stiffer challenge in his next match, when he takes on American Francis Tiafoe, seeded No. 7. Rubin and Tiafoe are among the seven Americans still alive among the final 16 in the tournament.

Tennis Star Novak Djokovic To Compete At SPORTIME Randall’s Island In Support of Johnny Mac Tennis Project on August 21st

Current world No. 2 and six-time Grand Slam singles champion Novak Djokovic will join Hall of Famer John McEnroe, N.Y. Ranger superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton and other tennis stars, legends and celebrities, on Thursday, August 21, for a gala evening of tennis to benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project. The benefit night will take place at SPORTIME Stadium on Randall’s Island. In the main event of the evening, Djokovic will compete against another top ATP professional to be announced. The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Djokovic, McEnroe and their guests, promising junior players from the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, a lively auction and great hospitality, with all net proceeds to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project.

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. Sportime Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.

“This is an important night for a cause that has been close to my heart for a long time,” said McEnroe. “I have so much respect for Novak as a person and as a player, which makes me even more excited that he will be the first current top-ranked player to participate in a Johnny Mac Tennis Project benefit match. Fans can expect a night of fun and competition in a great atmosphere in New York, with the likes of Henrik Lundqvist and Edward Norton generously agreeing to be part of the festivities, and with more surprise guests to be announced between now and the event.”

Tickets start at $75. To purchase tickets, and for more information about special VIP packages, corporate packages, or to become a sponsor, please contact JMTP2014@sportimeny.com.

Djokovic has three titles to date in 2014, all in top-level Masters 1000 events in Rome, Miami and Indian Wells. He first reached the No. 1 ranking in April 2011 and has been the No. 1 or No. 2 ranked male player in the world ever since. His Grand Slam singles championships include the Australian Open (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013), Wimbledon (2011) and U.S. Open (2011). The Belgrade, Serbia, native is the top seed at Wimbledon this year and has opened his 2014 campaign with convincing wins over Andrey Golubev and Radek Stepanek.

Lundqvist is one of the National Hockey League’s great goalkeepers, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12 and finishing second in 2012-13. He has 309 career regular-season victories in his nine-year career, plus 43 more in postseason play. This year he helped lead the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup finals appearance since 1993-94.

The prolific Norton is known for his roles in the films Fight Club, American History X, The Incredible Hulk, The Illusionist and many others. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee and a Golden Globes winner. He stars alongside Emma Stone in this fall’s Birdman.

JUNIOR JAMBOREE: FOUR AMERICANS — TOWNSEND, CHIRICO, LOEB & KOZLOV — INTO WIMBLEDON QUARTERFINALS

JMTA player Jamie Loeb

JMTA player Jamie Loeb

…”The Westchester, NY-based Loeb is an independent, training at John McEnroe’s Academy on Randall’s Island. One of the perks of choosing McEnroe’s place to mold her game is getting to pick the brain of the former champion. She also gets to frequently hit with the former Grand Slam champ.

“He’s very intense and he still gets very mad at himself,” said Loeb, whose spotted McEnroe watching some of her matches here. “But he’s great and I enjoy to listening to what he has to say because we think a little differently. He tells me when I play not to be too hard on myself because I tend to. And he still does it with himself. It works for him, but it doesn’t for everybody. He lets it out, which works for him, but for other people it’s negative. But, tactically, he sees tennis as a chess game and that helps a lot.”

Click here to read full article by Sandra Harwitt on TenniShorts.

Jamie Loeb Advances, Noah Rubin Out at Wimbledon

JMTA's Jamie Loeb

                    JMTA’s Jamie Loeb

Wimbledon-The Wimbledon juniors are underway with JMTA’s Jamie Loeb and Noah Rubin already having completed their first round matches. Loeb was able to advance, but Rubin was eliminated in the 1st round after drawing a tough opponent. Rubin hopes to continue his strong play in doubles however, as he and partner Clement Geens look to build on the momentum they gained from their semi-finals appearance at Roehampton. The tandem is matched up against Peter Ashley and Alexander Sendengeya of Great Britain in the opening round. Loeb is also set to participate in doubles with partner Ayaka Okuno of Japan and the two of them face Japanese partners Mami Adachi and Hikari Yamamoto in the 1st round. Learn more about Jamie and Noah’s opening rounds in singles from Zoo Tennis staff writer Colette Lewis below:

“Loeb defeated Victoriya Lushkova of Ukraine 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the second round, overcoming a rough stretch in the middle of the match where she lost five straight games. Leading 4-2 in the second set, Loeb failed in her two chances to take a 5-3 lead, and was broken at love in her following service game to lose the set. Lushkova held to open the third set, and Loeb saved a break point to make it 1-1, then broke in the following game. The 18-year-old from New York found herself in the same situation in the third set as she was in the second, with a 4-2 lead, but this time she held for 5-3 and then broke Lushkova at love to take the match. Loeb will play No. 10 seed Camila Giangreco Campis of Paraguay in the second round.

Noah Rubin lost a tough match to Luke Bambridge of Great Britain, falling 3-6, 6-4, 9-7. Rubin was down 3-1 in the third, got the break back for 3-3, but had more trouble than Bambridge holding serve down the stretch and was finally broken to give Bambridge an 8-7 lead. With Bambridge serving at 40-0 in the final game, Rubin saved two match points, but not the third, and Bambridge got the only win among the four British boys in action on Saturday.”

Click here to read the full article on Zoo Tennis.

Rockville Centre’s Noah Rubin to Play at Wimbledon

Noah Rubin 4.11.13 Easter Bowl

JMTA Player Noah Rubin

“Seventeen-year-old Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre, N.Y. will continue junior competition at Wimbledon, June 29-July 7 at the All-England Club in Wimbledon, London in the main draw. Rubin, who has been ranked as high as sixth in the world junior rankings, reached the third round of the 2013 French Open Junior Championship. He currently trains at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy. 

Joining Rubin will be Stefan Kozlov (15, Pembroke Pines, Fla.), the youngest boy in the Top 25 of the world junior rankings at number 21, leads the American boys in the main draw despite being the second youngest player entered in the field. Joining him are number 25 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (18, Charlotte, N.C.), number 42 Luca Corinteli (17, Alexandria, Va.) and number 58 Spencer Papa (17, Edmond, Okla.). Number 55 Martin Redlicki (17, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) was accepted for qualifying.

Last year, Kozlov qualified and reached the second round of boys singles at Wimbledon as the youngest player in the main draw by more than a year. Kwiatkowski, meanwhile, reached the third round in 2012. 

On the girl’s side, Taylor Townsend of Chicago, the number one-ranked junior in the world for 2012, will continue junior competition as well at Wimbledon. Joining Townsend at the Wimbledon main draw will be two other local products, number 45-ranked Jamie Loeb of Ossining, N.Y. and 17-year-old Louisa Chirico of Harrison, N.Y. Seventeen-year-old Katrine Isabel Steffensen of Scarsdale, N.Y. been accepted for qualifying.

Townsend, still the top-ranked American girl at number eight in the ITF World Junior rankings, will play her second junior Grand Slam of 2013 at Wimbledon, where she is the reigning junior doubles champion. Townsend reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 French Open junior championship, which was her first junior tournament since turning pro to start the year. She trains at the USTA Training Center–Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.

Chirico, who trains at the USTA Training Center–East in Flushing, N.Y., reached the French Open girls semifinals and now holds a career-high 18 world junior ranking”.

Article written by LI Tennis Magazine Staff.