A Long Island teen who had to qualify for the Wimbledon junior boys' tournament hoisted the title cup Sunday after beating a fellow American.
Qualifier Noah Rubin, of Rockville Centre, beat sixth-seeded Stefan Kozlov 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to win the title. He is the first teen from the U.S. to win home the title in seven years.
"It was almost surreal, but hopefully it will kick in the next couple of days," Rubin said of his win over Kozlov.
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.
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."
Rubin, according to the New York Post, trains at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy on Randall's Island.