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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” with Kaja Juvan • Tennis | 10sBalls

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

“When I was growing up, there were so many people that told me ‘You can’t do that.’ Especially in Slovenia because it’s such a small country. Sometimes it’s this mentality of, ‘No, don’t try something so that you’re not going to fail.’ I just thought to myself, ‘You know what? I’m going to prove to everyone that I can do it.’

I went through juniors pretty fast. When I was 16, I won the Orange Bowl, and then I decided that I’m going to start playing pro. I went to the pro circuit, and I had a year where I was struggling. I wanted to finish high school in a good way. Basically, I was studying for every exam like normal students during tournaments, and it was pretty tiring.

I was always pushing myself to do really well in school because I like studying, and I think education is really important for me.

At one point, I remember playing at a tournament. It was a 25K, and I was thinking about history or something. After I lost that match, I decided ‘You know what? I’m going to change schools.’ I still wanted to get a good education, but I decided to put tennis first for a little bit. 

I got to the top 200 really fast in like six months, or even less. All of the tournaments, mostly that I came to a high ranking in, were on clay courts, and then I played a pretty good season. I played Wimbledon against Serena in the second round, and it was super close. I played another German, and then I had to stop because I decided, ‘You know what? I’m going to finish school well.’

My parents were always like, “You know what? You can do whatever you want.” Education was still an option. Everything was open for me. It’s still important for me because I feel like it’s not a plan B, but it’s something that helps the plan A. It helps my brain keep activated.

I was just studying, which was hard at the time because I was so close to the top 100. I started playing back and it was a little bit harder because my ranking dropped a little bit. Then the next season was supposed to be my first full season, and then COVID times came, so this season is my first season.

Tennis is more than a game. I guess my ultimate goal would be to get to a position where I can make a change in tennis. That would be my biggest goal, to educate people, to help people. Just create something that would make a big difference so it’s more than tennis at the end.”

Kaja Juvan (@kajajuvan)


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!