Former Junior Wimbledon champion takes up pickleball just weeks after departure from tennis

Former Junior Wimbledon champion takes up pickleball just weeks after departure from tennis
Former Junior Wimbledon champion Noah Rubin is now into pickleball.

Former American tennis player and Junior Wimbledon champion Noah Rubin has announced his entry into pickleball, just weeks after his retirement from tennis.

In a witty video posted on his social media, Rubin briefly explained his struggles which made him switch sports.

“I’ve spent years trying to perfect a craft that has seemed impossible at times. I’ve spent countless hours in the gym, on the road, even on court,” he added. “It had been an uphill battle where the challenges seemed insurmountable.”

The American, who is listed as 175 cm or 5’9’’ tall, also said that he felt he was too short for a sport like tennis and that he faced many challenges. He called pickleball a sport where “size doesn’t matter”.

“Even after it shouted in my face I didn't get it. But it was the truth and I was finally ready to accept it. I'm short - yes it's hard to say it out loud but it's the truth - and the tennis court is way too big, there's way too much ground to cover. I recently came across the pickleball court, and it clicked, this is where I belong, this is home now. And in this sport, size doesn't matter," he said, with a humorous connotation.

Pickleball, which is often described as a fusion between tennis, ping-pong and badminton, has been rising in popularity in the US for a couple of years and now has three professional leagues - Major League Pickleball (MLP), the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) and the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA).

"I knew the sport was growing and there was potential there, but I wasn't really sure about it until we started hitting that day," Rubin said, speaking about the shift.

Noah Rubin’s tennis career

Noah Rubin Trains During Coronavirus Pandemic
Noah Rubin Trains During Coronavirus Pandemic

Noah Rubin, who was the Boys’ Wimbledon champion in 2014, reached as high as World No. 6 as a junior. He was also the runner-up in the 2015 NCAA singles championship. Following the success, the American turned pro in June 2015 at the age of 19, however, his professional tennis career did not pan out as he would have hoped.

Rubin collected four Challenger-level singles titles and one doubles title but recorded just eight wins against 21 losses at the Tour level during his time as a pro. The American played his final match, a loss to Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-2, 6-0 in the first round of qualifying at the 2022 Citi Open.

On September 19, the athlete announced an indefinite break from tennis in a post on social media.

“I cannot say I have fully shut the door. Whether unfinished business or just the want to kick some ass, I am not sure what the future holds. For now, for my own happiness and stability, the best I can give is, maybe in the future. It’s not that easy to get rid of me,” he captioned a post on social media.

Noah Rubin also runs an Instagram page and a podcast called “Behind the Racquet” which aims to fight the stigma of mental health and shed light on the challenges faced by athletes. Many top players such as Iga Swiatek, Daniil Medvedev, Coco Gauff, and Stefanos Tsitsipas have contributed their stories to “Behind the Racquet”.

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Edited by Anirudh
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