Ranked as high as No. 125 in the world of professional men’s tennis, Merrick native Noah Rubin finds himself in even more elite company when it comes to making an impression off the court.
Earlier this month, French sports magazine L’Equipe named Rubin, who attended Kennedy High School, among the top 20 most influential people in the world of tennis. Future Hall of Famers Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams top the prestigious list.
“I want to thank L’Equipe for the honor of even being mentioned on the same page as the 19 other people who ‘matter most in tennis,’” the 24-year-old Rubin posted on Twitter. “It really means a lot. It’s like a trophy for me.”
In translation, L’Equipe lauded Rubin as someone players share their intimacy with in “Behind the Racquet,” his innovative social media platform. “He’s the one that talks about the ‘broken system’ of professional tennis and warns about depression and alcoholism issues. He’s the ‘unionist’ of the Tour,” the magazine wrote.
“It’s been an incredible journey with ‘Behind the Racquet,’ and I’m exploring many different directions [in which] it can expand,” said Rubin, a Wimbledon junior singles champion (2014) who played one season at Wake Forest University and earned Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors.
Rubin, who turned pro at age 19, conducts all the interviews for “Behind the Racquet,” which launched in January 2019. Featured subjects have included Madison Keys, who disclosed her teenage battle with an eating disorder, and Ernesto Escobedo, who opened up about his stutter. “Players are connecting with everyone on a deeper level,” Rubin said.
Off the court projects are helping Rubin keep busy since tennis, along with all sports, shutdown indefinitely as the world fights the Covid-19 pandemic. Rubin, who has four Association of Tennis Professionals Tour Challenger titles under his belt, had just completed a tournament at Indian Wells in California when he received an email on March 12 from the ATP announcing the suspension of play. “It was a complete shock and many of us thought it was fake,” he said.
Rubin hasn’t hit a ball since and has spent the past six weeks putting his Rockville Centre home gym, which includes a bike, treadmill, weights and more, to good use.
Pleased with his performances in three straight tournaments, Rubin is looking forward to getting back on the court but knows it could be a while. The French Open was postponed from May until September, Wimbledon was canceled, and the status of the U.S. Open, scheduled for Aug. 24 through Sept. 6, is up in the air as well, with facilities being used for coronavirus relief efforts.
“The world’s situation is much larger than tennis,” he said.