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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” with Laslo Djere • Tennis | 10sBalls

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

“I broke into the top 100 in 2017. It was my goal since an early age. If you’re in the top 100, then you consider that you succeeded in tennis. Although, I respect a lot of guys below top 100 because I know how good you have to be even to be 150 or 250. Those guys are also playing amazing tennis, and they are so dedicated and practicing all day. It’s not really fair in one way, but that’s what the sport is like — Top 100 is what is in everybody’s mind; the ultimate goal to be successful.

At the end of 2016, I changed my coach after 10 years. I moved to another city so there were some other changes happening. I started really bad. That season, 2017, I had 9 or 10 losses in a row on the Challenger level. I was devastated and I didn’t know what was happening because I was giving my best on the practices and everything.

There was a tournament in Casablanca, Morocco, a 250 event, and I entered for the qualis.I qualified, and beat Kližan in the first round. That was my first ATP win. That came from nowhere, basically, because I couldn’t even win a match on the Challenger level, and now all of a sudden I won an ATP match.

I think really where I showed myself that I can play against top 100 guys was two weeks later in Budapest. I went through the qualis, saving match points in the first-round qualis, and I played the semis there. I took the special to Istanbul — I played the quarterfinals. Basically, on all of the Challengers, I played semis, finals, or something like that, and every week improving my career-high rankings.

I had more and more confidence after each tournament, and top 100 was a big call. I was really motivated, and finally I broke into top 100 in August or the end of July. It was unbelievable feeling after the tournament in the morning when I checked my rankings and there were two digits for the first time.

I was around 90. I think that year— yes, it was 2017 when I broke into top 100. I finished the year around 85 or 90, and then [my father] got sick. For the next one year, I was pretty much staying at the same spot. I dropped out at one point. I was also injured.

My mother [passed] when I was 16 or 17. I was in the junior category. I feel that her sickness in some way held me back a little bit, but after she passed away my results were coming back, the good results, and I finished the year I think sixth or something like that. Even during her sickness I was practicing, I was trying my best, but mentally I probably wasn’t 100% there.

Those were tough times with my parents, but I pushed through and I didn’t allow [myself] to lose my focus from the goal, what am I doing, and what are my goals in the sport. I always kept pushing and continuing.

I remember them every day, but when I’m on the court I can manage; I’m only thinking about the game and how I should play. Maybe there are some moments when they come to my mind, but I’m taking motivation and strength from that. That I know that I work hard, that I was dedicated on the practices, and that I’m trying to improve each and every day and the results will come.”

Laslo Djere (@lacidj_95)


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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!