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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” with Rudi Molleker • Tennis | 10sBalls

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

“From a young age, my dad was my coach. He wanted the best for me and gave his all to teach me the sport. It was a pleasure to spend time together but it was tough for our father-son relationship. My dad pushed the limit out of me. I worked very hard to improve on and off the court and this period made me the person I am today. I trained in Germany until age 14. At some point, you grow up and develop your own opinions. I started to question my dad on court and looked for another coach. I practiced at the German Tennis Federation then moved to Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France.

I was hailed as a rising talent in Germany. There is so much pressure from brands and agencies. Playing junior events was horrible. I won a challenger title a week before playing Junior Roland Garros so everyone expected me to win Roland Garros. It is difficult for young, promising players because you have to show everyone you are special. We are young but people already expect good results.

In 2019, I lost sight of the path to become a professional tennis player. I stopped enjoying the game and questioned if I wanted to spend my life playing tennis. I was playing well and having good results but was not enjoying the process. I skipped gym sessions and lost motivation to practice. I am usually the guy who wants to practice and never quits. But when things on court did not work, I left and went home. I suffered elbow problems and injured my back before the Australian Open. These injuries made me question my career even more.

I wanted to take time off. This past year everyone was home due to the pandemic. As tennis players, we are on the road for most of the year so we have enjoyed this time with family. After this period, players will be hungrier than ever because they got to live a normal life. I realized tennis is my passion and I want to get back on court.

It is tough being a tennis player because people do not take you seriously. They assume you travel to warm-weather places to enjoy the world. But once you arrive, you spend all your time on the court and in the hotel room. If you lose, you want to leave. You barely get to see the cities. Top players have time off because they win tournaments. Lower-ranked players play every week to get into the top hundred so they can make a living. You get in the zone of constant matches but your head gets burned. Everyone needs time off because this is not the life you should live. You spend time with your coach all day but after dinner, you come back to the hotel and are alone. It is a lonely life if you do not have anyone to spend time with. A lot of tennis players are lonely. Even though we are rivals on court, we are all in the same situation. It would be nice if we could spend more time together off the court.”

Rudi Molleker (@rudimollo)


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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!