Next stop for Noah Rubin: College.
The 18-year-old from Rockville Centre will be headed for Winston-Salem, North Carolina, soon to start his freshman year at Wake Forest after losing in the main doubles draw Thursday at the U.S. Open. Paired with longtime friend Stefan Kozlov, Rubin lost to the team of Jared Donaldson and Michael Russell, 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4.
The loss ended Rubin's first appearance in the Open's main draws, following a loss in the singles to Federico Delbonis on Tuesday. It also ended a breakout summer where he won the Wimbledon juniors and the USTA Boys 18 nationals.
On Thursday, he appeared far more relaxed than in his opening singles match when the small stands at Court 13 were liberally peppered with fans from Long Island who knew him or at least wanted to support him. "You can definitely say that," Rubin said of his feelings and the atmosphere on wind-blown Court 4. "It was much better than in my singles match."
Both his father and co-coach Eric Rubin and Lawrence Kleger, his coach at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Sportime on Randalls Island, on Thursday saw the freedom of movement and style of game that is typical of Rubin's game and was lacking during the singles match.
"I thought he played terrific doubles; he returned well, had good speed, good focus," Eric Rubin said. "You could see how much more relaxed he was, hitting the ball cleaner."
"In the singles he was a little nervous and the heat probably got to him," Kleger said. " were saying it was too bad the doubles didn't come before the singles so that maybe he would get some of those nerves out. We'd like to get another crack at [Delbonis]."
Rubin and Kozlov would like another crack at Donaldson and Russell, especially since a win would have set up a match against the Bryan brothers.
They took the first set with some ease. A couple of chances to break serve in the second set didn't materialize, and up a mini-break in the tiebreaker, they couldn't hold on. For the match, Rubin and Kozlov won more points, 101 to 96.
Like all young American male tennis players, Rubin was asked about the doldrums of the men's game with no American Grand Slam champion since Andy Roddick's Open win in 2003. Rubin says he doesn't feel pressure to perform for the American game.
"I'm just doing the best for myself," Rubin said. "If that means being one of the best American players, so be it."
Former Long Islander Scott Lipsky, paired with Rajeev Ram, won his doubles match against Jamie Murray and John Peers, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4).