In a battle of top American juniors, Long Island's Noah Rubin defeated seventh-seeded Francis Tiafoe of College Park, Md. 7-6(7-4), 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the Wimbledon Juniors Quarterfinals.
Rubin's serve was a big weapon for him on the day on the fast grass courts of the All-England Club. He had eight aces with a first serve percentage at 70 percent over three sets. Rubin won the first set in a tie-breaker, but with one break at the end of the second set, Tiafoe evened the match at one set all.
After Tiafoe struggled to hold at 4-4 in the second, he broke Rubin, who was serving at 4-5 to win the second set. One would predict that Tiafoe would be sky high and Noah a little discouraged coming out for the third and deciding set, but Rubin was calm, focused and determined from the very first point. In the third set, Noah broke at 1-1 and then held the next three service games at love. Rubin broke Tiafoe, who was serving at 3-5 to close out the match and head to the quarters.
"The key moment in the match was how Noah came out to play the third set having just been broken to lose the second set,” said Lawrence Kleger, Rubin’s coach and director of tennis at John McEnroe Tennis Academy. “He had a flawless third set on the world's biggest stage. I want to take Noah to my cardiologist to see how such an enormous heart can fit into a human body! As always, I am so proud of his compete level."
In the quarters, Rubin will face Holland's Tim Van Rijthoven, who is unseeded, but today knocked off the number one seed from Russia, Andrey Rublev.
“He fought back on more than a few occasions, to win the first set,” said Noah's father and coach, Eric Rubin. “But after losing the second set, Noah came out to serve for the first game of the third and looked as if he knew he would win the match. Essentially, four service winners later, he showed that to be the case. Huge heart and very smart playing was the order of the day. So proud of him, as always."
Noah Rubin and his father Eric at the 2014 Wimbledon Junior Championships in London