One Hull of a journey to Wimbledon
THE northern English city of Hull is not renowned for producing tennis players – rugby league is its stock in trade.
But next week a young kid from that town will step out on to the grass of Wimbledon. Most people will ask Paul who?
And Paul Jubb is a kid you just wouldn’t expect on the team sheet … or a first round draw at the All England.
Jubb, still only 19, now lives in South Carolina, but was born in the famous city of York and moved to Hull to live with his grandmother at the age of three, after rather death of his parents Sean and Jacinta.
He has their names tattooed on his chest – but we’ll get to that later.
Last month, Jubb causes a stir when he became the first Briton to land the US colleges’ prestigious NCAA men’s singles title.
In case you are wondering ‘how prestigious’ this title is, previous winners include Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Bob Bryan. And that win earned him a wildcard at Wimbledon.
If he were American he would also have earned a wildcard for the US Open, but ‘foreigners’ are still denied that if they take out the college award.
Jubb began playing tennis at primary school – an unusual happening in UK schools where individual sports get no attention – and rose through the ranks in Yorkshire to eventually win the national under-16s title.
That’s where the US system comes in to play – a scholarship to the university of South Carolina to improve both his court skills and shopkeeping with a degree course in retail management.
Jubb told the BBC his current coach Josh Goffi was in the UK recruiting, heard of him and ventured north.
“The ball got rolling and a few months later I was at the University of South Carolina,” he said.
Jubb impressed in the college system – he only lost two matches in first year – and last month clinched the NCAA’s National Men’s Singles Championships in Orlando, Florida.
And despite a lowly world ranking of just 579, he is out to impress at Wimbledon next week.
“Beyond happy to play my first Wimbledon and be given this amazing opportunity. Thx to the LTA for all the support and everyone else on this journey with me. As a young lad growing up in Hull it was a big dream to get to SW19,” he wrote on social media.
At 5-10 he isn’t the biggest, but we’re led to believe he has a strong right hand and is using Wimbledon as a stepping stone. He doesn’t expect to make week two, but he’s ready.
“I’ve always loved it (playing tennis) as soon as I started playing, so as soon as I had done a couple of years at the local tennis club, I took it more seriously after moving up to college. So far, it’s been great.”
He cites Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal among his idols but some day, we may be writing about the centre court displays of a shy kid from Yorkshire.
Remember the name.
Written by Peter Rowe for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online