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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” • With • Daniil Medvedev | Tennis 10sBalls

Editor’s note: 10sBalls thanks Noah Rubin for giving us permission to repost these great stories. We wish him and this endeavor the best of luck. Great seeing Noah wearing K-Swiss and playing Solinco Strings.

“There was always a little bit of a fight between my father and my mother. My mother wanted me to study more, which is why I was in school while playing tennis until I was 18. In Russia most professional athletes are done studying around 12 years old. It might have been the reason I wasn’t as good as my friends for some time, but I have no regrets. There were many tough times before the help from the federation and sponsors, when there wasn’t enough money. There were matches where I lost and all I was thinking about was the extra 100 dollars I could’ve made. The toughest period for me was the switch from juniors to pros. I ended at 13 in the world in junior tennis. I started to quickly understand, after playing futures, just how difficult it would be to get from 700 to 300 in the world. You needed to save as much money as possible while trying to win five or six futures as quickly as possible. At the time I was lost, didn’t know how to do that because there were so many other players trying to do the same thing. I remember talking to Bublik, playing a future thirty minutes away from where I lived in France. I was around 700 in the world and asked him, ‘How do you even become 300, it seems impossible?’ To this day he remembers that line and will joke when he sees me, ‘Come on, how did we become 300?!’ Even after reaching the top 100 for the first time, I knew deep down I wasn’t professional. When I was on court I would give 100%, but off the court I wouldn’t do the right things. I would go to bed late, play hours of PlayStation and just not worry about the small things. From 70 to top 5 in the world was the jump where I really decided to dedicate everything to tennis. I wanted to finally find my limits. I know people say there are none, but I want to test myself and find mine. That was the moment for me. I remember before that major jump where I would play one long match and I would lose the next day just because I couldn’t move. If you talk to anyone from juniors they would say I was one of the players in the worst shape, sometimes cramping after only thirty minutes. It has been the consistency of physical training and recovery every day that has changed my game. Me, by myself, I am not always sure what to do but my team helps me with my routine. I don’t have any better answer on how I went from cramping in juniors to back to back titles as a professional. It always effects me when people judge without any thought. It is one thing to argue, but to think your opinion is the best never makes sense. There are always people that say that I shouldn’t have done this or said this, but I can say whatever I want. They ask me 200 times but my answer will always be the same, I don’t have an idol, just want to be myself. Being top ten isn’t the reason for this, you may not believe me but even if I was a thousand in the world at 22 and quit after seeing I had no potential, I would still think the same. I just want to be myself. There are people outside my circle that say I need to win this match or become better and it gets to me because I am not playing tennis for them. Everyone has the right to remove the pressure from being better than everyone else. If you don’t want to practice, don’t practice. If you are happy where you are, do not let anyone tell you that you need to be better. This was the biggest push for me. The idea that I always wanted to be independent of others. It is always easier said than done. To turn off your care from these comments takes time. I try to keep my privacy during my time off court, which isn’t easy. In this world you ‘hear’ what everyone says about you and is thinking. If you get ten people in front of you there will be ten different opinions. There will always be someone who says, ‘It has to be this way’, but it really doesn’t.” Daniil Medvedev (medwed33)

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