WASHINGTON, March 30, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Behind the Racquet creator Noah Rubin of the United States has turned to offering online tennis lessons as a means of staying engaged during a time of uncertainty. It’s a way for him to feel productive while waiting to return to the ATP Tour.
Tennis.com’s Steve Flink recently interviewed Rubin, a 2015 NCAA Championships finalist for Wake Forest University who is currently ranked No. 225. The Long Island, N.Y. native has used his expertise of social media – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – to get the word out about his new business venture.
“I had this idea in my head for a while,” said Rubin, 24, during his Tennis.com interview. “I was just trying to create something. Now with this pandemic and human contact not easy and being frowned upon, I have cancelled all of the (in person) lessons I had lined up for the foreseeable future. I was thinking, ‘How can I be a part of people’s lives tennis wise?’ and that is where this idea really came from.
“I dropped my price from where I had it for lessons down to $30 or $35. I send them a video response after they have sent me videos of their strokes. If they want follow up second comments from me, I charge $10 for that. I have just stated this and have done only a few, but it is fun and a nice way to be a part of tennis without having somebody next to me at a time like this.”
Rubin was asked if he sees the possibility of other touring pros joining him – creating a network? “It is easy for me to creat on my own,” he told Tennis.com, “but I do want to have other players involved. That is the end goal. The idea is to have a kind of Rolodex of players and then connecting players to players that want to give lessons. We can cover the globe with somebody from Australia, Asia, Canada, Barbados. We can do this from the confines of our house right now and help people around the world.”
John Millman: Resigned to not playing again this year
Over the weekend, Australian pro John Millman told the Australian Associated Press that he fears the 2020 tennis season may be awash with the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has suspended the ATP, ITF and WTA tennis calendar for the past three weeks.
Currently, the earliest any of the pro tours might reset is June 8. However, the 43rd-ranked Millman thinks the hiatus will extend beyond the late spring date.
“We’re going to have to be pretty unified in terms of our recovery process before the tour can resume,” said Millman, 30, as quoted by Darren Walton for TheAge.com.au. “Maybe the tournament location has got the COVID-19 situation under wraps and then manage to contain it, but if someone’s flying in from South America, say, and their country hasn’t got a hold of it, then the tournament can’t (go ahead).
“You can’t have the tournament going when only certain players can get there. I think that’s where the problem lie.
“It’s almost like we have to have a vaccine or the virus has to run its course before there’ll be any let-up there.”
When Millman was asked to speculate about Wimbledon, the next major under consideration for postponement or cancellation, the Australian said he expects the All England Club to cancel it – or at least postpone it to late summer in a best-case scenario.
“But I just can’t see us playing tennis for a long time and now it’s a matter of trying to stay (the) fight, trying to scrape by a little bit while not much is coming in,” he said.
What they’re tweeting
Sorana Cirstea, Romania, ranked No. 75
Yesterday i made a donation to my hometown hospital ! In this tough times we should all come together and help with whatever we can ! pic.twitter.com/M0IVcbsNg8
— Sorana Cirstea (@sorana_cirstea) March 29, 2020
Nick McCarvel, sports commentator and reporter, co-host #TennisTuesday podcast
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) March 28, 2020
Boris Becker, Germany, Hall of Famer
Bjorn Borg https://t.co/Ly7fu0dG6q
— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) March 29, 2020