Kubler embracing journey in US Open return
Australian Jason Kubler is feeling healthy, confident and ready ahead of his second US Open main draw appearance.
Preparing for a Grand Slam tournament comes with many challenges, as Jason Kubler can attest.
The resurgent 29-year-old Australian is set to make his second US Open main draw appearance – and first since his 2018 debut.
“I’m still walking around the courts and not knowing where I am,” Kubler laughed. “I’m still trying to get familiar with the venue.”
The world No.116 is also seeking information on his first-round opponent, world No.74-ranked Swede Mikael Ymer.
“I’m not super familiar with him,” he admitted. “I played his brother (Elias) in the last round of qualifying at Wimbledon, not that that has any relevance.”
Yet Kubler is feeling confident, having won 29 of his 37 matches since May. This includes eight victories against top 100-ranked opponents.
“If I can play the way I want to play, then I have a chance for sure,” he said.
In his only previous US Open appearance, Kubler upset 19th seed Roberto Bautista Agut to record his first Grand Slam-level main draw victory. In the following round, an ankle injury forced him to retire mid-match.
Kubler describes those memories as “bittersweet”.
Yet the former world No.1 junior is no stranger to setbacks and having momentum stalled. He has undergone six knee surgeries throughout his career and spent several years playing exclusively on clay to prevent further injuries.
Now healthy, the Brisbane-based Kubler has halved his ranking in a career-best season.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve done close to 15 months now on tour, that’s almost a record for me,” he said.
“I feel like I’m building. Every couple of months, I’m getting slowly better and working on things. It’s just one of those things, where if I can stay on tour and keep being healthy, I’m only going to improve.”
After enjoying a breakthrough fourth-round run at Wimbledon this year, Kubler would love to replicate that result in New York.
“I guess it gives me confidence that I’ve done it before. But the way I see it, every tournament is new. Hopefully I can do something similar again, but first I have to get past the first round,” he said.
“It’s a long journey to get there, I’m just hoping I can play well on Tuesday.”
Kubler is one of 10 Australians in this year’s US Open men’s singles draw, the most since 1998 when Pat Rafter defeated Mark Philippoussis in an all-Australian final.
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