Kubler smiles in defeat as next chapter unfurls

3 minute read

Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 4, 2022 Australia's Jason Kubler reacts during his fourth round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

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LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - Jason Kubler left Wimbledon, and a career-first Grand Slam fourth-round encounter, with just eight games to his name on Monday but happy that the next chapter in his remarkable tennis story has been sketched out, if not yet written.

The 29-year-old Australian has battled financial constraints and physical woes which would have finished off a lesser player – six knee operations for starters – but, with his fourth-round prize money of 190,000 pounds ($229,995), says he can now put those worries behind him and go for bust on the Tour.

“I can get a physio on the road with me maybe every week for the rest of the year,” the Australian qualifier smiled after his 6-3 6-1 6-4 loss to Taylor Fritz. “I'm not so worried about paying the coaches to come to tournaments on their expenses.

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“If anything, I can... go full in, invest in myself, and then sort of just see how good I can get.”

Ranked world number 99, and unlikely to move as there are no ATP points on offer at Wimbledon this year due to the tournament’s decision to ban Russian and Belarussian players, Kubler had to qualify to reach the main draw, and leaves south-west London with many positive feelings.

“These last two weeks have been unbelievable. I wasn't expecting anything like this. Just the fact that I was fourth round and playing pretty well, especially against great players, yeah, it's only a positive,” he said.

Nonetheless, Kubler is wistful about the ranking points he might have won.

“Yeah, in the situation I'm in now, it's tough, but, you know, I just go back to thinking where I was two weeks ago. I was just happy to get the prize money.

“Two weeks ago when I was coming to this tournament, I was more than happy to have the prize money up for grabs. When I qualified, I was more (than) happy for it to just be the prize money. Even then I didn't worry about the points.

“(But) yeah, fourth round... it would have been nice, but, you know, at least there is prize money,” he smiled. “I think after a couple days when I can look back, then realise how many matches I played and then sort of like for someone like me how big a fourth-round achievement is, then it will really hit and I will go, 'Okay, this is pretty cool'.”

($1 = 0.8261 pounds)

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Reporting by Ossian Shine; Editing by Clare Fallon

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