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Kubler Qualifies For Roland Garros After Six Knee Operations

Over a decade ago Jason Kubler was a highly touted ITF no. 1 junior but his pro career has been hampered by knee problems. The 5-10, 163 pound right-handed Brisbane native has endured six knee operations but he has persevered through all the physical challenges and this week he has won three qualifying matches – defeating Bonadio, Albot 10-4 in third set tiebreaker and Sousa today 75 62 (on his 29th birthday), to make the main draw of the 2022 Roland Garros tournament.

After operation no. 6, Kubler missed a year of play in 2016 and lost his ATP ranking, meaning he had to rebuild his career and ranking from ground zero starting in 2017 at the Futures level.

The first time I heard about Kubler’s story was at the Sarasota Open Challenger years ago when an ATP staff person told me Kubler was only competing in clay court tournaments, to try to protect his knee. Eventually Kubler’s knee troubles improved and he began to play hard courts again.

Kubler battled his way back to the top 250 in 2017 and was given a wildcard into 2018 AO but lost to Carreno Busta in four sets. It was his first Grand Slam main draw appearance in eight years. Kubler achieved his career high ranking in 2018 at 91.

Last year Kubler won a Challenger title in Lexington, KY. His positive progression continued into 2022.

Earlier this year Kubler lost in the second round of AO qualies and reached the 3R of doubles as a WC with Chris O’Connell. Kubler and Jaimee Fourlis reached the AO mixed doubles final as wildcards, falling to Dodig/Mladenovic 36 46.

So Jason Kubler, currently ranked 161, has to be considered one of the most inspiring ATP players and certainly worthy of the ATP Comeback Award. Not bad for a player who lost his pro ranking and had to suffer through six surgeries to his knees.

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