After a swirl of media interviews on Sunday afternoon, 18-year-old Noah Rubin of Merrick had to be fitted for a tuxedo, right down to his shiny black shoes. In just hours he would attend the Wimbledon Champions Dinner at the glittering Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, where he would meet Wimbledon men’s champion Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 tennis player.
“It was the first time I wore a suit since my bar mitzvah,” Rubin joked during an interview the next day at his Wynsum Avenue home.
Rubin, too, was a Wimbledon champion, having won the boys’ junior title on July 6 by defeating Macedonian-born American Stefan Kozlov, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. It was a triumphal moment for Rubin, who rose to No. 6 in the International Tennis Federation’s world junior ranking –– and No. 1 in the United States –– in recent years before watching his junior ranking drop in 2014 as he transitions from junior to professional tennis.
In recent months, Rubin has focused primarily on playing on the ITF Men’s Circuit and has steadily climbed in the pro ranks, from No. 781 in the world in 2013 to 536 this year, according to the Association of Tennis Professionals.
Rubin trains at the John McEnroe Academy at Sportime on Randalls Island and receives funding through the Johnny Mac Tennis Project to offset his travel costs. McEnroe, a three-time Wimbledon singles champion and five-time doubles champion, called Rubin “the most talented player we’ve come across” at the academy in a Newsday article in 2011, when Rubin was 15.
Rubin grew up in Merrick, went to Levy-Lakeside Elementary School and Merrick Avenue Middle School, and attended Kennedy High School in Bellmore. After his freshman year, he studied at home through the Laurel Springs online school, while training and competing internationally, earning his diploma last month. He said he plans to attend college for a year starting this fall, at Wake Forest or Virginia, before turning pro. In August, he will compete in the U.S. Tennis Association’s National Championship in Kalamazoo, Mich., and he said he hopes to compete in the U.S. Open, either as a junior or a pro, or both.