Rubin set for French,
earns debut via USTA Wild Card
Arthur Kapetanakis | May 7, 2018
After helping make American tennis history last week, Noah Rubin can now look ahead to a more personal milestone. The 22-year-old is set to make his French Open main-draw debut in two short weeks – his reward for winning the men’s USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge.
By climbing back into the ATP Top 200 last week, Rubin helped make it 25 American men in the Top 200 for the first time since 2002. The ranking boost was a result of the New York native’s title at the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger, a USTA Pro Circuit event.
That trophy, along with additional points earned in qualifying at the ATP event in Marrakech, Morocco, last month, also proved enough to seal first place in the Wild Card Challenge.
Rubin’s 86 points in the four-week contest – 80 of which were earned in Tallahassee – put him comfortably in first place ahead of Reilly Opelka’s 62 points and Bjorn Frantangelo’s 50. ADVERTISEMENT
The Tallahassee title was Rubin’s first on clay and fourth overall at the Challenger level. His first career title came at a 2015 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Va., and he has since backed that up with Challenger wins in Launceston, Australia (February 2017) and Noumea, New Caledonia (January 2018).
Though he has yet to compete in the main draw at Roland Garros, Rubin will go into the event with plenty of Grand Slam experience. He made his major debut at the 2014 US Open after earning a wild card via his Boys’ 18s national title. More recently, he scored a pair of opening-round victories at the Australian Open in both 2016 and 2017. In 2017, he fell to his childhood idol and eventual champion Roger Federer in three tight second-round sets.
As a former Top 10 junior, Rubin reached the quarterfinals of the junior French Open in 2012 before winning the boys' Wimbledon singles title in 2014. He then went on to star on the college level at Wake Forest, where he was the first player to be named ACC Player and Freshman of the Year in the same season. In that 2015 season, his lone year as a Deamon Deacon before turning pro, Rubin reached the NCAA singles final.
Currently ranked No. 196, Rubin boasts a career-high ranking of No. 161, achieved in January. His French Open wild card presents a big opportunity to improve upon that, with the potential to set up the young American for a big summer.
In the women’s challenge, another 22-year-old, Taylor Townsend, previously clinched first place with a week to spare. She and Rubin will join a strong contingent of Americans descending on Paris, with French Open main-draw play scheduled to begin on May 21.