Q & A: Rubin keeps focus on the game
Chanda Rubin and her father, Judge Edward Rubin, are shown Sunday on the court at their home in Carencro.
Carencro's Chanda Rubin has played professional tennis since 1990, has earned more than $4.4 million on the WTA Tour and has seven singles titles and 10 doubles crowns to her credit. On Sunday, during Father's Day activities at the home of her father, 15th Judicial District Judge Ed Rubin, she talked to Advertiser Senior Sports Writer Bruce Brown about Wimbledon, her progress dealing with a knee injury and her father's influential love of the game of tennis.
Q: What part of Wimbledon do fans miss while watching the tournament on television?
A: "The feel of it. Number one, there's nothing like the feeling of being at Wimbledon - not only the tennis but the crowd and the energy they provide. Of course it's a Grand Slam event, but it has a feel all its own. There's all the history, and the structure has been there since the 1800's."
Q: What are your most memorable moments at Wimbledon?
A: "It hasn't been one of my best tournaments, but I've always gone in playing fairly well. Winning the junior title there (1992) was a great experience, and I've made it to the doubles semifinals on center court. Just walking on to center court is a special feeling. You lose yourself in the moment, and at that moment it's your court."
Q: What are British tennis fans like?
A: "They try to get more decorum there. They'll wait in queues and will sleep all night in a tent, rain or shine, to get tickets. People will leave during the day, and hand in their tickets, and they'll allow you to buy those at a reduced rate. They will wait out every day for that."
Q: Have you ever had strawberries and cream?
A: "Yes, but not very often."
Q: How different are the French Open (clay courts) and Wimbledon (grass)?
A: "There are two totally different requirements for those tournaments. In the French, you have to work the court and sometimes have to win a point a couple of times. You have to have a certain level of fitness and a certain mentality. You have to grind more, go a couple of extra points. On grass, the one who gets the first strike will have a big advantage."
Q: What has 2005 been like for you, coping with your injured left knee?
A: "The year is still up in the air. I'm working on getting healthy, to get to a level of confidence I'm comfortable with. There are a couple of guys I've been hitting with at River Ranch who have helped - that, and the conditioning program I have. I feel really good about that. My physical condition is the key. Mentally, I still feel that way about playing. I'm focused on playing tournaments in July, leading up to the U.S. Open."
Q: You've been on tour for 15 years now. Do you have a timetable for your career at this point?
A: "Not at the moment. It's been eight or nine months since I've played consistently. I'll be 30 next year, and that's an age when people start to retire. For me, personally, it will be based on how I feel. My health is the only determination right now."
Q: Any chance you'll still be playing professional tennis at age 47, like Martina Navratilova?
A: "No way. Obviously her mentality is what has made her one of the greatest champions in the game."
Q: What influence has your father had on your tennis career?
A: "He and my mom (Bernadette) have loved the game for as long as I can remember. From very early on tennis has been a part of my life and family. That's where my love of the game came from. Even now, he plays more than me sometimes. He's still out there playing matches, playing with friends, talking trash. It's just a game I've enjoyed playing, and as I got older I started to get more serious. When the sun is out, you want to hit balls and work on your game."
Originally published June 20, 2005