On Friday morning, local junior Noah Rubin advanced to the semifinals of the Junior Wimbledon Championships with a big win against Holland's Tim Van Rijthoven. The match was tightly contested throughout, but in the end, Rubin pulled through two tie-breakers to win 7-6, 7-6 and advance to the semis.
Early in the first set, Noah played a loose game and was broken, but was able to break right back. The rest of the match was a battle of serves, which is often the case on grass.
“I was worried about this match because Noah had beaten Van Rijthoven at the French Open, 6-0, 6-2 and I didn't want him to take him lightly as that was clay and this was grass,” said Noah’s Coach Lawrence Kleger, director of tennis at The John McEnroe Tennis Academy. “On grass, he was a very dangerous opponent. This match was an excellent experience for Noah as at the highest level of the game, there are many players who serve big enough that you will not get many opportunities to break. You have to convert those and you have to take care of your serve as well."
Noah's next opponent is another American player, Taylor Fritz of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., a 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-5 winner over Italy's Filippo Baldi to reach the semis. Much like today, Rubin should come into the semis with confidence having beaten Fritz 6-1, 6-0 at a Futures event in Spain. The other Wimbledon Juniors Semifinal match features another American, Stefan Kozlov of Pembroke Pines, Fla., the number six seed, taking on eighth-seeded Johan Sebastien Tatlot of France.
"Noah just played incredibly focused tennis from start to finish today,” said Eric Rubin, Noah’s father and coach. “Noah came up with shots when he needed to under increasing pressure, and combined that with patiently waiting for his opponent to miss as well.”