In-form Aussie Jason Kubler reflects on his most important career lessons in our ‘Training Tips’ series.
Jason Kubler is currently at career-high rankings of world No.63 in singles and world No.29 in doubles.
The 29-year-old from Brisbane captured his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year, winning the men’s doubles crown alongside compatriot Rinky Hijikata in a memorable run as wildcards.
This major breakthrough comes after years of managing a chronic knee injury, which required multiple surgeries and saw the former world No.1-ranked junior restricted to playing exclusively on clay for several seasons to prevent further setbacks.
The resilient Kubler is now establishing himself as one of the world’s best players, with consistent ATP Tour results helping him soar up the rankings.
“I’m feeling more comfortable in front of the big crowds and especially in those tight moments,” he said. “I feel like I’m building some nice momentum.”
In our Training Tips series, Kubler reflects on his biggest career lessons and shares an insight into his practice routines …
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt playing tennis?
What I’ve learnt is that consistency is key. I’ve had a lot of stops and starts throughout my career. You don’t need to have unbelievable or great days all the time. Even if you have bad days, you keep going on. That’s what builds momentum and helps you to improve. I feel if there are stops and starts, it’s very tough to get any momentum and improve.
What is the best advice you have received in your career?
I think what has been important is understanding my own mind. The past 18 months I’ve had people really helping me understand why I feel things and why I’m thinking things.
Can you recall the first professional player you had the opportunity to hit with?
I actually don’t remember. When I was coming through, we had a good group of young guys all around my age. We had James Duckworth, Ben Mitchell, Bernard Tomic, Maverick Banes and myself. So I don’t think I necessarily played against guys too much older, unless it was in a tournament.
What have been some of your most memorable practice sessions?
I did have a couple of hits at the Aussie Open with Rafa (Nadal). I never had the chance with (Roger) Federer. I actually hit with (Andy) Roddick once and that one actually sticks out because I hit horrendous with him. I still remember that.
Is there any player, past or present, that you wish you had the chance to train alongside?
Roger Federer, 100 per cent.
Do you have a preferred time of day to practice?
During a tournament, honestly it just depends on when I’m playing. I’m pretty relaxed, as long as I can get a warm-up any time before I play, I’m pretty happy.
Do you like to follow routine on the practice court?
Lately I don’t feel like I need to do much extra. I had a great preseason and I’m confident that I’ve done the work. Right now, it’s just about warming up, making sure the body feels good and getting ready for a match.
What advice would you share with an aspiring player to get the most from a training session?
Go in with a clear mindset. If you are a little bit nervous, it’s good to get your feet moving. For me, that’s the biggest thing. If I’m not feeling it, I try to get my feet moving and stay low, then normally it works out.
What advice would you share with your younger self?
Consistency is so important. When I was growing up, I always thought you had to play very good every day and that’s how you were going to improve. But if you can just tough it out every day, that’s how you’re going to get better. That’s how sometimes opportunity comes, just by being there. I’ve won a few matches where I didn’t feel great, but I was able to stay out there and grind to get the win.
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