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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” • With • Gigi Fernandez | Tennis 10sBalls

Editor’s note: 10sBalls thanks Noah Rubin for giving us permission to repost these great stories.


#LegendaryBTR- “When I learned to play tennis in Puerto Rico, girls didn’t play sports so earning a living in tennis was not a possibility. I was raised to get married and have children but my older brothers played tennis and I wanted to be like them. When I started tennis, coaches would not teach me topspin because they thought girls were too weak. But that didn’t matter because there was no competition in Puerto Rico so I could still win playing with slice. Since the Puerto Rico Tennis Association was part of the USTA, I could play Summer Nationals where I was discovered by college coaches. I was recruited to play for Clemson University, where for the first time in my life I had to play tennis every day. The improvement was tremendous and  I reached the finals of the 1983 NCAA tournament as a freshman. I turned professional that year. But I was at a disadvantage on tour because I had to learn how to hit topspin like everyone else. As a junior, I rarely lost but as a professional I lost every week, sometimes even twice per week. I hated traveling. I was homesick and could not even afford a coach. After four years on the circuit, I had enough and was going to quit. The 1988 US Open was going to be my last tournament.

Then I met sports psychologist Jim Loehr. I went from wanting to quit tennis to winning my first Grand Slam, the 1988 US Open. I went on to win sixteen more Grand Slams. Fourteen of those titles were with Natasha Zvereva during a five-year period. During that time, I didn’t think winning three Grand Slams per year was special. It seemed normal. Only later did I realize how unlikely that period was because no one has ever won that many Grand Slams in such a short time. Those results earned us a spot in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. I am grateful to the coaches who believed in me and pushed me to achieve something that no other girl from my country had done before.

I retired in 1997 and wanted nothing to do with tennis. I was burnt out and sick of the sport. After fifteen years of being away from the game I became the director of tennis at a local club because I was ready to get back in the game. I learned about the social side of the sport and fell in love with tennis again. In 2013, I made a life goal to share my knowledge of tennis, specifically doubles. I saw a lot of bad coaching and a misunderstanding of how doubles should be played.  I now travel around the country sharing my knowledge with recreational players and welcome them to my home in Tampa for multi camp camps. 

I learned that there are more ways to enjoy tennis than playing in front of packed stadiums and collecting a paycheck at the end of the week. Most of my life has been spent in tennis but my current role is more fulfilling than being a pro because I am sharing my passion and bringing people joy. 

I am also a mom of eleven-year-old twins and there is no greater joy than seeing their smiles and watching them grow.”

Photo by Behind The Racquet
Photo by Behind The Racquet

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You can check out more Behind The Racquet stories on the link below:

Facebook | Behind The Racquet

Twitter | @BehindTRacquet

Instagram | @behindtheracquet

Also listen to Noah Rubin’s Podcast

Behind the Racquet Pod Mike Cation & Noah Rubin/Tennis Channel Podcast Network


and check out his new clothing line!


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