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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” • With • Dinara Safina | Tennis 10sBalls

Photo by Behind The Racquet via Facebook

Editor’s note: 10sBalls thanks Noah Rubin for giving us permission to repost these great stories. We wish him and this endeavor the best of luck. Great seeing Noah wearing K-Swiss and playing Solinco Strings.

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“I turned pro when I was 15 and I quit when I was 25. It was 10 years of quite an experience that came to a tough end when I fractured my lower back. Even with all the hard work and lots of pressure day to day, I really enjoyed my time and I was happiest when I could wake up and just get on court. It is funny, once I quit I was really missing the adrenaline and energy that you experience from tennis. It has been very difficult to find anything that can take its place, something that truly motivates me. I am proud of what I have achieved and am not blaming anyone for my injuries, just thankful that I was able to enjoy all those years. I still do not see myself coming back on tour like Kim Clijsters or Tatiana Golovin, but I can definitely see myself coaching and sharing my experiences with another player. I see many girls today content with what they are achieving, while when I played each person wanted to be better than the one ahead of them, more than anything. It is tough to judge when you aren’t playing but this is what I see. Henin, Clijsters, Davenport, Capriati, Pierce, Mauresmo and the other Russians were all pushing the limits, always eager to be better. I feel there was a different sense of rivalry in those years. I recently finished my law degree, which was a goal of mine, but I keep finding my head wanting to get back into tennis. These 8-9 years since my career have not been the easiest. I think this happens quite often to players after they retire, they struggle with depression. One of the main reasons is because you go from playing on tour, the center of attention, to just another person. When I was number one in the world, everyone was gathering around me, wanting to just get a piece of me. Now it seems like many don’t really care. I have even tried multiple times to approach the president of our tennis federation to see if I could be a part of helping the next generation and they never contact me back. It seems like they don’t want to help you anymore. You wonder why they wouldn’t want you after all you accomplished for the country (silver medal and one in the world) and it just leaves you confused and hurt. It feels like constant reminders that they don’t need you anymore and they just don’t care. You realize you have to take care of yourself and the feeling of loneliness are not easy to deal with at all. It has only gotten better this year when I accepted everything I didn’t want to be true. I have worked to bring my happiness back and now I go up to players and agents directly telling them I am interested in being a coach. No matter what you do or accomplish, you have to be there for yourself, not relying on anyone, and that was a tough lesson to learn.”

Dinara Safina (@dinarasafinaofficial)

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