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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” with Ellen Perez • Tennis | 10sBalls

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

“I started playing tennis at age seven. I grew up in a rural country town in New South Wales, where there were not many opportunities to face good players. I went to a school that did not offer much support for my tennis. At age 10, I got spondylolisthesis, stress fractures in the back that never heal. I had two right wrist surgeries and left elbow surgery. I also had appendicitis and glandular fever. On top of all that I had a fibular stress fracture and bilateral achilles surgery, which made me miss my chance to play my last junior grand slams. These injuries gave me the resilience to fight and come back. Positivity is who I am. For me, it’s about being on the court and being able to compete. I feel very fortunate.

At age 16, I made the decision to take tennis more seriously, so I moved to an academy in Melbourne and shifted to distanced learning. Two years later, I went to college and played for the University of Georgia. In Australia, at the time, going to college meant that you did not make it on tour. I went to college to play professionally after one year but realized college tennis was important. The competition was very strong and I was not yet ready to play on tour. I loved my team, they were my small family in America. I stayed at Georgia for three years to develop my game. Then I turned professional. At first, I struggled. I did not leave college on great terms and missed the team environment. I was thrown into the deep end, traveling the world on my own. I went on a long losing streak. Then I discovered a huge community of college players who are also playing on tour. Some of us play doubles together. We support one another. I am enjoying my time on tour more now. I never questioned my direction. I always wanted to play professional tennis. I’m glad I chose to play in college first because that experience created opportunities for my future. I almost have my sports management degree and am finishing my last three classes online. I have always been open to the idea that tennis might not be everything so I am happy to have a backup degree.

Everyone follows their own path. It is hard to see young players achieve success and you get so wrapped up in what other people are doing. I focus on the fact that I enjoy traveling and seeing friends. When I am playing tennis as a job, it doesn’t matter if I get extraordinary results because I am doing something I really enjoy. I have things going for me off the court so I see the bigger picture. I also know that my career could be cut short at any time so I enjoy every moment. If I lose a match, I will be fine 10 minutes later. I don’t like when people dwell on matches because there are bigger things in life.”

Ellen Perez (@ellenperez95)

Editor’s Note • Ellen was in mandatory quarantine after returning to Australia from the French Open last year. She did a daily blog for TennisBalls that was both addicting and insightful. You can read it here (LJ).


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!