Jason Kubler hits winning road after knee injury, lifting Gatineau title

Tennis - The Aussie has returned into the top-200, dropping out from that group for the first time since March 2018

by Jovica Ilic
Jason Kubler hits winning road after knee injury, lifting Gatineau title

The Brisbane native Jason Kubler was supposed to be the next big story from Australia, carving his path after a successful junior career. The young Aussie had one rival that proved to be stronger than all of his opponents on the court combined, struggling with constant knee injuries and undergoing a few surgeries to prolong his career and show his skills and talent.

Staying away from the hard courts for years, Jason had to stick with Futures and Challengers on clay, going back and forth and having to start all over a few times, with no ranking points on money on his tally. That all had changed in the closing stages of 2017 when Kubler took a gamble and entered Futures and Challengers at home in Australia on hard courts, making a considerable jump through the rankings and staying on the same course in 2018 to crack the top-100.

Injury-free, Jason had settled into a nice rhythm despite some ups and downs, hoping for another steady run in 2019 and the opportunity to enter the main draw at all four Majors directly. Out of sudden, another knee injury ruined his plans, staying away from the court for three months after the Australian Open and dropping out from the top-200 for the first time since March 2018 after failing to defend Winnipeg Challenger title, losing in the final in Winnetka to Bradley Klahn.

Still, it was an encouraging result for the Aussie who played even better in Gatineau last week, dropping 28 games in ten sets to lift the fifth Challenger crown, the first in a year and the fourth in a row on hard courts.

In the title match, Kubler took down Enzo Couacaud 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 35 minutes, fending off nine out of 11 break points to limit the damage in his games and scoring four breaks that propelled him over the finish line.

They traded breaks at the beginning of the match and Jason grabbed another one at 2-2, surviving three tough service games in the rest of the set to take it 6-4. The Aussie forged a 5-2 gap in set number two with breaks in games five and seven, wasting a match point in the next couple of games before sealing the deal with a hold at 15 at 5-4 to celebrate the title.

By the end of the season, Kubler has only 107 points to defend and we should expect more good results from him in the following months, targeting the top-100 return if he manages to deliver more weeks like the previous one.

“The conditions in Gatineau are very similar to Brisbane, it’s very humid and bouncy,” Kubler said. “People are very nice too, it feels like I'm at home. Almost all of my rivals had to play grueling matches and I had a luck to skip three-set matches this week because it takes a lot out of you. I will enjoy my win and try to do my best in Granby next week as well”.

Jason Kubler