Paul Jubb wins the NCAA national singles championship in Orlando as victory over Nuno Borges sees Hull teenager follow in the footsteps of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe
- Paul Jubb has won the NCAA national singles championship in Orlando
- The 19-year-old from Hull beat Portugal’s Nuno Borges 6-3 7-6 in the final
- Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe are among the previous winners
- Jubb represents the University of South Carolina, where he is the No 1 player
A teenager from the unlikely source of Hull has followed in the footsteps of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe by winning the most coveted title in the highly competitive world of US college tennis.
Paul Jubb, 19, defeated Portugal’s Nuno Borges 6-3 7-6 to claim the NCAA national singles championship in Orlando while representing the University of Southern Carolina, where he is the No 1 player.
A former champion of the Under 16 age group in the UK, Jubb has chosen the increasingly popular route of a scholarship to one of the highly organised American colleges to pursue his dream of being a professional.
British teenager Paul Jubb, 19, has won the NCAA national singles championship in Orlando
Brought up by his grandmother after both his parents died when he was a young child, Jubb has emerged as an interesting prospect, previously known only to the cognoscenti of British tennis.
While US College tennis is not of the standard it used to be when the likes of McEnroe, Connors and Arthur Ashe passed through it, the level is still high and getting stronger as more and more international youngsters opt for it instead of trying to head straight onto the tour from the juniors.
Britain’s Cam Norrie, now the world No 41, is a recent product of it but in two attempts he did not manage to win the NCAA title carried off by Jubb.
‘I overcame so much mental toughness today, losing to him twice already this season,’ said Jubb after the match. ‘Just overcoming that fear and gaining belief I could win. It was so big for me today and somehow I did it.’
Had he been American, the achievement would have secured him a wildcard into the main draw of the US Open later this summer, but as a foreigner he will be denied that. Wimbledon are sure to look at his case for getting a privileged entry into the main event or the qualifying.
While the Yorkshire teenager has played sparingly on the world tour, he already has a professional ‘Futures’ title to his name, won in Lithuania last summer.
He comes from the same geographical area as British No 1 Kyle Edmund but, according to a press release from a firm of solictors who were among his early sponsors, was brought up in a council house on the eastern side of the Humberside city.
Through support from sponsors, local coaches, the Lawn Tennis Association and its Yorkshire county affiliate he became one of the country’s better juniors. He was then spotted following a recommendation to South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi and recruited to the programme when just seventeen.
Hull-born Jubb represents the University of Southern Carolina, where he is the No 1 player
James Trotman, the LTA coach charged with keeping tabs on him when he first began to receive funding from the governing body, praised the foresight of the South Carolina coaching team.
‘Because of his age and the fact that he was physically not very developed it was a quite a chance they took on him while some others didn’t, and it paid off,’ Trotman told Sportsmail. ‘My advice to him was to take the opportunity because at US college you have great training facilities, team mates and all the stuff like nutrionists, sports science and you get to play a lot of matches under pressure.
‘Paul is a nice lad and very driven, with an unbelievable work ethic.. He really wants to succeed. His game is hard to break down and his movement is outstanding.’
Of course doing well in college tennis is no guarantee of a successful career on the ruthlessly competitive ATP and WTA Tours, although there have been numerous high achieving graduates apart from Norrie. For instance last summer’s Wimbledon semi-finalists John Isner and Kevin Anderson are both products, as was this year’s Australian Open semi-finalist Danielle Collins.
Jubb has one more year left at South Carolina, although he could opt to leave early to pursue a professional career.