The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY SI­MON ROUND

THERE WERE mixed for­tunes for two Jewish sports­men com­pet­ing at iconic Bri­tish sport­ing events. Un­seeded Amer­i­can ten­nis player Noah Ru­bin beat his com­pa­triot Ste­fan Ko­zlov to win the ju­nior cham­pi­onship at Wim­ble­don, but Is­raeli rower Dani Frid­man sunk with­out trace at Hen­ley Royal Re­gatta.

Eigh­teen-year-old Ru­bin came come through the qual­i­fiers to claim a fa­mous vic­tory in front of a big no. 1 Court crowd.

“I didn’t ex­pect the court to be that packed,” Ru­bin said. “I ac­tu­ally thought no­body was go­ing to watch the match, but that was not the case. They were very en­thu­si­as­tic to be out there. The at­mos­phere was un­be­liev­able.”

He added that the vic­tory had come as a sur­prise even to him. “I didn’t ex­pect much com­ing into these tour­na­ments. I just wanted to get out there and en­joy my­self. It’s one of my fi­nal ju­nior tour­na­ments, so it’s nice to have this un­der my belt. I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber this time.”

How­ever, Is­rael cham­pion rower Frid­man said nerves were to blame for him los­ing the Hen­ley Royal Re­gatta last week. Frid­man, 26, was the first Is­raeli to com­pete in the Di­a­mond Sculls com­pe­ti­tion but lost in the f i rst round to Aus­tralian rower Nick Pur­nell.

He said: “It was not a good com­pe­ti­tion for me. I’ve beaten Nick be­fore in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships but I think on the day he was bet­ter.

“You have so many people watch­ing you the nerves and ex­cite­ment just took over. It is the first time I’ve done the Re­gatta, it is a hard race and I did not have enough time to train.”

But he added that just to par­tic­i­pate in the event had been spe­cial. “To take part even though I didn’t win was just amaz­ing. I saw thou­sands and thou­sands of people cheer­ing me on. The at­mos­phere is amaz­ing and you don’t see that any­where else in any other com­pe­ti­tion. I loved ev­ery sec­ond of it I was just look­ing around.”

He promised to re­turn next year: “I will be sure to come back and do bet­ter maybe even try some of the straw­ber­ries and cream people keep telling me about too.”

Ru­bin may not have tried the culi­nary de­lights at Wim­ble­don, but he did re­ceive a con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sage from John McEn­roe af­ter his sen­sa­tional run. “It was al­most sur­real, but hope­fully it will kick in over the next cou­ple of days,” he said.

Asked whether his vic­tory would change his stance on go­ing to col­lege, he said: “It is a great feel­ing to be out here win­ning the tour­na­ment, but this doesn’t change any­thing. That said, I learnt a lot of things this week — just be­lieve in yourself and never give up.”

As for his new tro­phy, he said: “I think I’m go­ing to leave it at home. I don’t trust those col­lege kids up there.”


Noah Ru­bin knocked out three seeded play­ers on his way to the ju­nior prize at Wim­ble­don

Dani Frid­man failed to im­press


Laeti­tia Beck

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