Tennis

Resurgent Kubler making up for lost time at Wimbledon

Australian qualifier Jason Kubler is proving hard work pays off with a career-best run at Wimbledon.

London, Great Britain, 30 June 2022 | Darren Parkin

Jason Kubler is making up for lost time as he prepares for a big second-round clash at Wimbledon.

The 29-year-old from Queensland has travelled a long road to get there, but his dismissal of former world No.22 Dan Evans in straight sets in the first round suggests he’s got a bit more left to give.

After nearly a decade dealing with persistent and frustrating injuries, Kubler is contesting just his second Grand Slam main draw since 2019 – and his first at Wimbledon in four years.

Kubler has battled through multiple knee surgeries, and at one point was instructed by doctors not to play on hard courts again.

His horror injury run started as far back as 2011. Yet he persevered, winning his first Grand Slam main draw match at the US Open in 2018 – eight years after he first competed at that level.

That US Open campaign also ended with injury.

But Kubler is back again and in career-best form, securing his maiden main draw wins at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in recent weeks.

The world No.99 has a new coach, former Wimbledon doubles champion Stephen Huss.

Huss said recently that their focus had been on improving Kubler’s confidence and mental conditioning.

“The confidence starts with the extra work and professionalism he has been doing and showing,” Huss said.

“The French Open result, and subsequent results, reinforces that work and adds to his confidence.

“The goal is to continue his growth. Jason’s best tennis is still ahead of him and he is working towards that.”

Huss spoke about the need for Kubler to remain conscious of his body, especially given his history of injuries.

“His body and health need to be a priority,” Huss said. “He is making better decisions with his schedule and planning ahead.

“Success is impossible without health, so he is prioritising that. He is building a more resilient body and giving it a rest when it needs it, regardless of circumstance.”

One of the biggest wins of Jason Kubler’s career 🙌

The Aussie qualifier knocked out No.28 seed Dan Evans in first-round action at #Wimbledon today #GoAussieshttps://t.co/zVPOmv08qY

— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) June 28, 2022

Tennis coach Jarrad Bunt has worked with Kubler for much of his career, through his role with KDV Sport and Tennis Australia’s National Academy.

Bunt is currently in the UK with Kubler and spoke about the confidence gained from his Australian Open mixed doubles final appearance earlier this year.

“I think playing some good tennis at the AO and making the mixed final was great,” Bunt said.

“Playing on the big courts with some good crowds and great atmosphere helped springboard the start of his year. I think it gave him belief and confidence to be around those main draws again and it was really cool to be around the last few days of a Grand Slam.”

Bunt was especially proud of see Kubler qualify and reach the second round at Roland Garros last month.

“His run at the French Open was great. He fought so hard and his mentality and fight in big moments was great to see,” Bunt said.

“He beat four quality guys at the French and then played a top-10 player (Cameron Norrie). So having those quality matches and showing his level has given him confidence for sure.”

Kubler then made back-to-back ATP Challenger finals in America, before his successful qualifying campaign at Wimbledon.

It means he has won 16 of his past 17 matches going into today’s second-round meeting with Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak.

“His goal now will be to try to cement his spot in the top 100,” Bunt said. “Stay fit and healthy and bring his level to every match he plays. Hopefully he can keep building to bigger and better things and have a great rest of the year.”

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