Brisbane, Australia, 23 July 2020 | Leigh Rogers

Jason Kubler looms as the man to beat as the third UTR Pro Tennis Series event begins in Brisbane today.

The 27-year-old has already claimed back-to-back titles in the UTR Pro Tennis Series and not lost a set in eight matches.

“Right now I’m heading in the right direction and everything feels pretty good,” the No.234-ranked Kubler told after claiming his second UTR Pro Tennis Series title in Brisbane last week.

Kubler’s impressive form provides a welcome confidence boost after a wrist injury sidelined the former world No.91 for six months last season. He was six tournaments into his return, with a record of six wins from 12 matches, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of professional tennis.

Refusing to let another stint on the sidelines weaken his spirit, Kubler has found positives in the unexpected break.

“Having the time off actually helped my body and gave myself an extra four to six weeks of actual recovery,” said Kubler.

“I’ve gone from having to tape my wrist every hit, to now where it’s back to normal. There’s no issue with strength, there’s no issue with range and that sort of stuff. So it worked out very well for my wrist.”

Kubler is no stranger to injury setbacks, having dealt with a chronic knee injury throughout his career. He has returned from multiple surgeries and meniscus tears.

“The bad thing was when I did hurt my wrist, was that my knee was actually feeling very good. So for once that was feeling good, but something else sort of got a bit sore,” he said.

After isolating with partner and world No.114 Maddison Inglis in Perth, the couple have returned to Kubler’s home state of Queensland.

Kubler lives near the Queensland Tennis Centre, where he is training alongside world No.43 John Millman and world No.83 James Duckworth.

“I’ve been lucky enough where there’s been good players that have been pushing me almost every day,” Kubler noted.

The UTR Pro Tennis Series has served as a valuable opportunity to build match fitness too.

“I just appreciate that there’s a tournament to play in Australia,” Kubler said.

“I’m enjoying playing matches again, which is always the thing. You don’t always know how you’re going to feel in a match, because you can be enjoying training but then once the emotions start coming in an actual match, you don’t know how you’re going to respond. I’ve just been happy that I’ve been enjoying it all and wanting to run for every ball.”

READ: Kubler wins second consecutive UTR Pro Tennis Series title

Kubler (UTR 14.89) headlines the men’s field in Brisbane this week alongside Calum Puttergill (UTR 13.72). The women’s field includes Inglis (UTR 12.32), Lizette Cabrera (12.45) and Priscilla Hon (UTR 12.35).

With strict biosecurity measures in places, fans are not welcome on site. All matches are instead available via a live stream on Tennis Australia’s YouTube channel, where Kubler will be among the fans watching – when he is not playing, of course.

“One thing I’ve definitely noticed in terms of appreciation, before COVID hit I never really watched tennis that much,” Kubler said.

“I’ve always obviously been interested in it, but at the same time I’ve never watched that much. But now I’ve found myself, with all these streams of UTR on the Tennis Australia YouTube channel, I just watch them all.

“It’s interesting, I’ve watched way more tennis in the last couple of weeks than I have in the last couple of years.”

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