By Steve Pratt
Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Draw | Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Doubles Draw
College tennis will be in the spotlight on the sport of tennis’ grandest stage when reigning NCAA champion and University of South Carolina senior Paul Jubb makes his Wimbledon debut at the All England Club this week. The Hull, England native will compete in both singles and doubles.
The first British player to win an NCAA singles title, Jubb drew ATP World Tour-ranked No. 66 Joao Sousa of Portugal for his first-round match on Tuesday. He will also play with his countryman, Jack Draper, in doubles when the pair faces the No. 2-seeded duo of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia on Wednesday. Farah is a former NCAA champion in doubles from USC.
According to South Carolina Athletics, Jubb is only the fourth Gamecock to play at Wimbledon, and the first to do so since Stephane Simian in 1997. Currently ranked No. 472 in the world, Jubb is the first reigning NCAA singles champ to play Wimbledon since 1981.
The 19-year-old Jubb, who has been in Columbia since age 16 and is studying retail management, had some good pre-Wimbledon results as he won five matches in four tournaments, including victories over Denis Istomin and Andrey Rublev, ranked No. 78 and No. 109 in the world, respectively.
Jubb has an amazing back story and it was reported widely by the international press covering Wimbledon. Orphaned as a child, Jubb was raised by his grandmother starting at the age of 4.
“She’s been a huge influence,” Jubb said in The Independent. “She’s put so much work into raising me, acting like a mother, father, anyone. She’s just been a huge rock in my life.”
Asked by a reporter what would change his mind regarding turning pro instead of returning to college, Jubb said in The Independent, “If I won Wimbledon maybe! I’m still young. I don’t feel a rush right now to go on to the pro tour.”
It will be a special time at Wimbledon for Jubb’s childhood tennis coach Jonny Carmichael, as well as South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi and James Trotman, a coach at England’s Lawn Tennis Association.
In the NCAA singles final in May, Jubb defeated ITA No. 1 ranked and Mississippi State senior Nuno Broges, 6-3, 7-6 (2) at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida, that avenged an earlier loss to the Bulldog.