Tuesday's first-round U.S. Open juniors match for Rockville Centre's Noah Rubin looked easy: 6-3, 6-0 over fellow 17-year-old Hannes Wagner of Germany. "What was going on in my head was not as easy as on the court," Rubin assured.
But Rubin's coach, Lawrence Kleger, was comfortable enough with the performance. "Returned exceptionally well," Kleger said. "Off the ground, he was really, really solid. Serve was really good at times; he didn't get broken.
"I liked his presence."
Rubin broke Wagner's serve in the first game of the match and never looked back, not allowing a single break-point opportunity in dispatching Wagner in 55 minutes.
"He's very athletic," Kleger said of Rubin, a 5-91/2 high school senior. "We're just waiting for him to grow."
"I'm 6-feet," said Rubin's father, Eric. "So it could happen."
Of more immediate concern is Rubin's second-round match; he will play Italy's Gianluigi Quinzi, the No. 2 seed -- and, in the not-too-distant future, the decision on whether Rubin opts for college or professional tennis.
"I try to enjoy what I have right now," he said. "The dream is to be the best I can be, whatever that path is."
Meanwhile, he will continue to train at John McEnroe's Randalls Island tennis academy, where Rubin said he has played a handful of sets against the 54-year-old former champ, "and didn't get more than two or three games off him" before finally taking a 7-6 set from McEnroe.
"He's not playing me anymore," Rubin said.