Australia’s Jason Kubler is into his first ATP tour semifinal after defeating fellow Australian James Duckworth.
This is on the back of Kubler’s first top-ten victory when he defeated world no. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime in the previous round.
At 29-years-old it is a long time coming for the former world no. 1 junior. Kubler has had to overcome many serious knee injuries along the way.
Kubler started his run of form back in late March when he won his first of back-to-back claycourt titles at the M25 ITF event in Canberra. Five wins for the title started building his confidence.
Another five wins and Kubler collected his second title on clay thanks to Coca-Cola and jellybeans.
The Australian then headed overseas and stepped up a level by competing in Challenger Tour events. Nothing remarkable happened at first.
Two first round wins were both followed by defeats at the hands of Daniel Elahi Galan in Sarasota and Tallahassee.
Another tournament and the same story but things started to pick up when Kubler headed over to Europe. He reached the semifinals of the Zagreb Challenger tour event before heading to Paris for the Roland Garros qualifying.
He strung together three qualifying match wins, then a first round win over Denis Kudla before losing to world no. 11 Cameron Norrie.
Challenger Tour title in Little Rock
In late May Kubler was back in the USA and he went all the way to claim the ATP Challenger 100 title in Little Rock.
The following week he reached the final of the ATP Challenger 60 title in Orlando where he retired in the third set but his confidence was growing.
Then it was onto Wimbledon. Kubler again navigated qualifying and then took out Daniel Evans in round one, Dennis Novak in round 2, Jack Sock in round 3 before falling to world no. 14 Taylor Fritz in the fourth round.
Despite not collecting ranking points Kubler was happy to receive the prizemoney and then invest that into his time of the tour. He said he could now have a physio to better look after his body.
Going into the ATP250 Hall of Fame tournament in Newport Kubler was sitting at no. 102 in the rankings. A loss in the first round and he would be sitting at around no. 107 and out of an automatic entry for the Grand Slams.
Kubler stepped up and defeated fellow Australian Jordan Thompson in straight sets. He then got the biggest win of his career when taking out Auger-Aliassime.
Next came another Australian, James Duckworth. Also someone that is no stranger to overcoming injuries throughout his career.
After two tight sets it was again Kubler that claimed the win 7-5, 7-6(3).
“It’s a good mental victory for me today,” said Kubler, who defeated Duckworth for the first time in the five matches they’ve played.
“I’ve been putting a lot of effort into my mental side. I’m happy that I was able to stay consistent throughout the match.”
Kubler next faces (3) Alexander Bublik (KAZ) in the semifinals. On the live rankings Kubler sits at no. 95.