29-year-old Australian Jason Kubler was one of six Australian’s to win their way into the main draw at Wimbledon this week, but for the Queenslander it was a particularly special result.
After nearly a decade battling persistent and frustrating injuries, Kubler will get the chance to contest back-to-back grand slam events for just the second time in his career when SW19 kicks off on Monday.
Kubler has battled through multiple knee surgeries, and at one point was instructed by doctors not to play on hard courts.
The injury run started as far back as 2011 with the Australian fighting back repeatedly, ending an eight year slam drought with an appearance at the Australian Open, and a first round victory at the US Open in 2018.
That US Open campaign would again end with injury, but Kubler has fought on, re-entering the grand slam circuit with his French Open debut last month.
Victory in the opening round was a fitting reward for a player who has always been quite adept on clay.
Kubler has a new addition to his coaching team, former Wimbledon Men’s doubles champion Stephen Huss, and Huss spoke about the growing confidence he can see in the Australian.
“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.” he added.
Huss spoke about the need for Kubler to be always conscious of his body, given his history of injuries, and make sure he listens to the signs.
“His body and health need to be a priority through planning and periodization. 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.”
Tennis coach Jarrad Bunt has worked with Kubler for much of his career, through his role with KDV Sport and the National Academy.
Bunt is in the UK with Kubler and spoke about the confidence gained from his Mixed Doubles title at the Australian Open this year (alongside Jaimee Fourlis who also qualified for Wimbledon this week).
“I think playing some good tennis at the AO and making the mixed final was great. Bunt said.
Playing in the big courts with some good crowds and great atmosphere helped springboard the start of his year.” He added.
“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.”
Kubler’s first French Open main draw appearance came off the back of some good scalps and Bunt was proud of the strong run.
“His run at French Open was great. He fought so hard and his mentality and fight in big moments was great to see.
“He beat 4 quality guys at the French and then played a top 10 player (Norrie). So having those quality matches and showing his level has given him confidence for sure.”
Kubler made back-to-back challenger finals in the US and has won 15 of his last 16 matches on the tour coming into Wimbledon.
Bunt is keen to make this resurgence last, and it’s fair to say Kubler is owed some good fortune.
“His goal now will be to try to cement his spot in the top 100. 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.” Bunt added.
“1 year ago at the same time as the French Open he was at KDV training, and we took him with a team to play the gold AMT at Bundaberg and then the AMT at KDV. So he has come a long way in the last year.”
Kubler is one of nine Australians in the Men’s singles draw at Wimbledon, securing his spot with a strong victory over Elias Ymer.