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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” • With • Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova | Tennis 10sBalls

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.


“Growing up, tennis was taking up more time in my life than anything else. That was my only focus. The most difficult part to deal with is trying to keep up good relations with my dad. It wasn’t easy to have him as a coach growing up. He was very strict, there was a lot of fighting on and off the court. He did help me get to where I am today by pushing me to the limit. It is tough to find the balance between having him as my father and coach. Then I made the biggest decision at 15 years old to move to France. That is when Patrick Mourotoglou took over my coaching from 15 to 18 years old. I hd to learn a lot on my own during this time. It helped me become the person I am today. I wanted to prove myself to my parents, specifically to my dad, that I can make them proud. I am fortunate that even through the strictness I learned a lot from my parents. I feel that I get smarter and far more mature with each challenge that comes my way. That’s the beauty of life for me, getting stronger when you face boundaries and overcoming them. It defines who I am. 

It was sad at times when my dad was more of a coach than a father. I started playing when I was about five or six years old, and he was always there for me. He was there on the court for me, helped me with fitness and was the person who struggled along side of me. Even though my dad put in the most effort my whole family was involved. When I was 14 my brother, who used to play tennis, started traveling with me. I am proud of what I have achieved on and off the court with help from them but I always have more goals.

I think I deal with this fear of making a mistake and letting people down. Through the help my family gave me it was tough to be my own person. Slowly through travel and being away I began to learn how to deal with experiences on my own. You are always on court alone so I needed to learn how to deal with that. I have no regrets. I work so hard so my family feels like it was worth it. I remember back in 2006, I was 14 years old, playing my first Junior Australian Open. I already won a few ITF’s but this was different. Here I am, with a kid that didn’t have much back home and now I am playing a Grand Slam. In my head I thought it would be good if I won a match or two but just didn’t want to let everyone down. It’s not easy to play your best under that kind of pressure. I guess since I was young I kept it simple and just tried to hit the ball. I played a few matches and found myself winning the tournament, which got me to number one in the world. This was possible from all the belief my father had in me, which I only began to realize now.

About three years ago I had a really tough period where I wasn’t enjoying myself on court. I was dealing with some private things in my personal life that I couldn’t overcome. I wasn’t enjoying tennis, I wasn’t enjoying anything. I didn’t know if I should continue because I felt stuck. I didn’t like where my life was at ranking wise and overall. I felt like a burnout. I had that for a couple years and I just couldn’t figure it out. Slowly, I had some help and began working on myself. I am happy and that doesn’t affect me the same way. I still have a lot of will and potential in me and more ambitious than ever before. This tough experience is behind me, but I am happy I went through it. It made me who I am. I know a lot of people who go through that period, whether athletes or not. How you respond to that shows your true character.”

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (nastia_pav)

Editors note: We applaud Noah Rubin and all of his colleagues. The way they open up and expose their situations with the reader of BEHIND THE RACKET is truly amazing. NoahRubin33 is always ready to give you a tennis tip by sending him your video. Please listen to his great podcasts and go check out his coaching on his sites.

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