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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” with Feliciano Lopez • Tennis | 10sBalls

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

“Growing up, one of my good friends was coached by my father. He was diagnosed with bone cancer and passed away less than two years later. This was the toughest moment in my life. He was like a brother to me. I have him in my mind every single day and I always travel with a shirt that has his picture.

I always knew tennis was my path. I was certain that I would be successful and happy on the court. I led the Spanish Tennis Federation from age 15 until 19. Everything was easy and expenses were covered by the federation. At 19, I was playing a challenger and I fell and broke my wrist. I spent three months in a cast. Then I left the federation and hired a private coach. This was the only time that I was unsure about becoming a professional tennis player.

My longevity on tour is thanks to many things. When I reached my 30s, I thought about my friends from Spain who retired at that age. I asked how I could extend my career because I was feeling great. For the next 10 years, I took care of my fitness. I have not suffered from any big injuries. I also improved my diet. When I was younger, I did not think about nutrition because I did not have any issues with weight. But small things, if you put them together, make a difference. Now, I am almost 40 years old and still love tennis. I enjoy the sport even more now. When I was younger, I enjoyed the opportunity to play and travel but did not think deeply about how hard it is to compete at the highest level. Lately, I have realized how difficult this is and I feel very fortunate.

When you get older, it is tougher to maintain a constant travel schedule. There are other things in my life besides tennis. I just became a father so it is harder for me to be away from family. As tennis players, we do the same thing every day and see the same people every week. Tennis can become a little bit boring sometimes. If you have the passion and are surrounded by good people, it is easier to handle. My last tournament win in 2019 was one of my most memorable moments on tour. This victory was very special because I had dropped out of the Top 100 for the first time in 17 years. I was 37 years old and thought about saying goodbye to the tour. Then I won a tournament in London and returned to number 53. I also won the doubles with Andy Murray which was very special. It does not get any better than that week.”

Feliciano Lopez (@felilopezofficial)


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

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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!