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USTA: From Wimbledon to Godfrey-Youngest Player Still Competing

Article by: Paige Allen,

GODFREY – Noah Rubin is the youngest player in Lewis and Clark’s USTA Futures tournament, but the 17-year-old from Long Island has plenty of experience.

A few weeks ago he played in the Wimbledon Juniors singles and doubles.

“I lost in the first round of singles and we played well in doubles making it to the quarterfinals,” Rubin said. “It was a great experience.”

Rubin was America’s top junior to begin 2013, having ascended as high as No. 6 in the world in January.

A pupil of John McEnroe’s Academy at Randalls Island, N.Y., he reached the quarterfinals at the 2012 French Open Junior Championships and has represented the U.S. in the Junior Davis Cup (16 and under).

Today, Rubin clinched a spot in the semifinal of the Godfrey $10K tournament defeating American Devin McCarthy 6-1, 6-4.

“I had the right mentality and kept the pressure on him,” Rubin said. “I just maintained my focus and played one point at a time.”

McCarthy, who played through the qualifying rounds, is a recent Ohio State graduate who was ranked No. 60 singles player by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA).

Rubin will play Evan King, 21, of Chicago, a recent Michigan graduate, tomorrow not before 10 a.m.

King is a three-time ITA All-American (2011-13), two-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year (2012 and 2013), four-time All-Big Ten (2010-13), and ITA Midwest Region Senior of the Year (2013.)

He defeated Jeremy Efferding on Friday, 7-5, 7-6(4). Efferding, 20, a Texas A&M junior, also made it into the quarterfinals after playing through the qualifying rounds.

No. 1 Darian King, of Barbados, still has his eyes on the prize after defeating 18-year-0ld Ronnie Schneider on Friday 6-3, 6-4.

Schneider, of Bloomington, Indiana, also played through the qualifying rounds. He is a standout USTA Junior and high school state champion who will play as a freshman this fall for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

No. 1 King is the winner of last week’s Joplin $10K USTA singles championship and will play No. 4 American Michael Shabaz at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

“I am glad for the win today. My opponent (Schneider) is very young and he was competitive,” King said.

Shabaz, 25, won his first USTA Pro Circuit singles title at the $10,000 Futures in Pittsburgh in early July. He defeated American Evan Song 6-4, 6-3 today to make the semifinal.

A former player for the University of Virginia, Shabaz reached the singles semis in the 2011 NCAA Championships losing to Steve Johnson. In 2010, he won the NCAA doubles title with Drew Courtney. As a junior player, Shabaz won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2005 with Jesse Levine.

Song, 21, of Henderson, Nevada, is a member of the USTA-Nevada 2011 Graduating Class. He started playing the Futures tournaments this year in Mexico.

Shabaz is staying with the Hayes family, and said he is grateful for their hospitality.

“They are probably one of the most gracious families I’ve stayed with as I’ve played the circuit,” Shabaz said. “It is wonderful to have people who support you and are rooting for you to win too.”

Singles semifinals begin tomorrow at 9 a.m.  Singles and doubles championship matches will be held starting at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Andy Simpson Tennis Complex.

The tournament is free and open to the public. For more information about the tournament or to get directions to campus, call (618) 468-6252.