NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island boy is coming home with a championship trophy after winning the Wimbledon junior boys’ title Sunday.
Noah Rubin, who grew up in Merrick and attended JFK High School in Bellmore, battled through the qualifying rounds at Wimbledon and got into the boys’ draw unseeded, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported. He went on to beat sixth-seeded Stefan Kozlov 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in an all-American final.
“It was almost surreal, but hopefully it will kick in the next couple of days,” the 18-year-old said of his win over Kozlov.
Rubin’s mother, who watched the match online at her Merrick home, said she’s still pinching herself.
“At times it looked as though he was superimposed with the Wimbledon screen behind him because as much as you know that your child has worked hard and he has planned and prepared for this, I don’t think anything really prepares either him or the family for seeing this,” Melanie Rubin told Rivera. “It was just amazing.”
Melanie Rubin said her son began hitting tennis balls while in diapers and the championship win is a dream come true.
“To say that my son is the Boys’ Wimbeldon Junior Champion, no matter what happens in this world after yesterday nobody can ever take that away from him,” Melanie Rubin said.
Rubin had originally stopped playing junior tournaments after the 2013 U.S. Open. When he changed his mind, his junior ranking was so low — and his ATP ranking — that he had to play the qualifying tournaments at the French Open and Wimbledon.
Kozlov, who was also a finalist in the Australian Open boys’ singles event in January, made too many mistakes at crucial times in the match.
“I kind of choked at 3-all in the third by giving away a service game I should’ve won and that was it, the end of the match,” Kozlov said. “It’s just been tough.”
Following the 2-hour, six-minute match, the two friends — who often room together at tournaments — ran around the court with an American flag that Kozlov’s father had given to him in the morning.
In boys’ doubles, No. 3-seeded Orlando Luz and Marcelo Zormann of Brazil beat top-seeded Kozlov and Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 8-6 in the title match.
Unseeded Jelena Ostepanko of Latvia won the junior girls’ title with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over eighth-seeded Kristina Schmiedlova of Slovakia.
Tami Grende of Indonesia and Yu Yequi of China won the girls’ doubles title with a 6-2, 7-6 (5) win over Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic and Dalma Galfi of Hungary.
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