Noah Rubin, 21, of Merrick, has been competing in tennis tournaments across the globe since joining the professional ranks in 2015. He has faced off against his idol, Roger Federer, won three career pro titles and competed in the 2017 U.S. Open after bouncing back from two injuries earlier in his career.
Now, with a career-high ranking of 161st in the world, according to the Association of Tennis Professionals, Rubin will take part in a new chapter of tennis history, in his own backyard, when he competes in the inaugural New York Open Feb. 11-18 at Nassau Coliseum.
“When I heard that there was gonna be a tennis tournament there, I got extremely excited,” Rubin said, adding that he has seen several New York Islanders games there with his family.
The New York Open, formerly known as the Memphis Open, is being relocated to the newly renovated Coliseum, as announced last April by its parent company, GF Sports.
Since it was founded in 1975, the event has been one of the longest-running tournaments in the United States. In the mid 70s, American tennis was in its heyday, but this was short-lived as the turn of the century saw the sport’s popularity expand across Europe and a wealth of international competitors joined the market, according to Josh Ripple, this year’s tournament director.
This past year, however, has shown a growing success for male American tennis players — with Rubin’s photo featured in a New York Times article. This prompted GF Sports, the company that runs the Memphis Open, to move the tournament to New York, where the company is currently located.
“We thought that this was a perfect opportunity for us to go into a brand-spanking new arena,” Ripple said, referring to the Coliseum. “It would be state-of-the-art, it would be in the New York market, and we knew that the players would love it.”
Rubin was added to the tournament as a wild card along with Reilly Opelka, 20, of St. Joseph, Mo. “Rubin was a perfect choice for us,” Ripple said. “He’s had some great successes, a couple of challenges, and he’s trying to find his footing and make his way into the tour.”
Rubin lost his second-round match in the 2017 Australian Open to Federer, who was on his way to his 18th Grand Slam singles championship. At the same tournament, Rubin earned his second career pro title in the ATP Challenger Tour stop in Launceston, Tasmania, defeating fellow American Mitchell Krueger in the finals.
In April, Rubin slid on clay at a tournament in Houston and injured his wrist, causing him to take a five-month break from the sport. “I was rushing my recovery, trying to get back to where I was,” he said. “I’m feeling good now and I’m excited.”
Rubin is not competing in the 2018 Australian Open, but he had success at the 2018 BNP Paribas of New Caledonia tournament where he won his third career title and reached a career high ATP ranking of 161 in the world.
At the New York Open, Rubin will take to the court with 27 other athletes and 16 teams. The tournament will launch on Feb. 11 with the New York Tennis Expo, which will feature a faceoff between honorary New York Open ambassador John McEnroe and U.S. Davis Cup champion James Blake in addition to on-court tennis activities for all ages, speaker sessions, autograph signings and live entertainment.
Tickets for the main event range from $38 to $72, and VIP packages range from $172 to $343 for the session. Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, NewYorkOpen.com and NYCBLIVE.com, or by calling (800) 745-3000. They can also be purchased in person at the Ticketmaster box office at the Coliseum.