Merrick native Noah Rubin, a former junior Wimbledon champ, is taking up pickleball


When most people hear the word pickleball, they probably think of senior citizens getting together for a little light exercise.

But pickleball is about to get a major injection of youth.

Noah Rubin, who for the last seven years was a professional tennis player, announced Monday he is becoming a professional pickleball player.

The 26-year-old, who grew up in Merrick and attended Bellmore’s John F. Kennedy High School, made the announcement with a video on Instagram and Twitter. He had fun with it, poking a little fun at his 5-foot-9 size. Watch the video below.

“The tennis court is just way too big and there’s way too much ground to cover,” Rubin said in the video. “I recently came across the pickleball court, and it clicked, this is where I belong, this is home now. And in this sport, size doesn’t matter.”

Rubin is the 2014 junior Wimbledon champion and a 2015 NCAA singles runner-up. He had been plagued by injuries in recent years. His highest professional ranking was No. 125 back in 2018.

Rubin recently had taken a break from tennis, noting the mental and physical challenges of the sports. 

Now, he embarks on a new challenge and a new sport.

Pickleball is often described as a combination of ping-pong and tennis. Players use a lightweight wood paddle, plastic Wiffleball-like balls, and a court smaller than one used in tennis.

The sport has grown in popularity in recent years, and this past week Lebron James became an investor in Major League Pickleball.

Top: Noah Rubin of the U.S. serves against John Isner of the U.S. during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Monday, May 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)