It wasn’t so long ago that Jason Kubler was down to the last 14 cents in his bank account.
Now the self-confessed Australian tennis battler is house hunting after his life-changing month reached new levels with an inspired run from qualifying to the Wimbledon third round.
“Fourteen cents – and I still owed people,” Kubler told AAP after holding his nerve to serve his way into the last 32 of a grand slam for the first time.
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After being asked to sleep on a two-sets-to-love and 5-4 lead, Kubler returned to the All England Club on Friday to coolly close out the contest without dropping a point.
So pumped was Kubler that, instead of celebrating, the 29-year-old made a beeline for the practice courts to blow off some steam.
“Kind of a weird feeling when the match finished because you have so much energy to get ready for possibly another two more sets after that one,” he said.
“For it to finish in four points was, yeah, a good feeling, don’t get me wrong, but it was a weird feeling.”
The watershed win set up a meeting on Saturday with fellow qualifier Jack Sock after the one-time world No.8 completed his own rain-interrupted second-round victory over fellow American Maxime Cressy.
Win or lose, Kubler has earned more money in the past week than he has all season.
A place in the last 32 at the All England Club is worth a minimum of Stg 121,000 ($A213,000).
Victory over the 103rd-ranked Sock would guarantee the world No.99 at least Stg 190,000 ($A337,000).
“It’s not too bad,” Kubler said, barely able to wipe the smile from his face.
It’s also nothing less than he deserves after racking up 18 wins in his past 20 matches, a run that started the week before qualifying for the French Open, where he was Australia’s last man standing, after finally returning to full fitness after years of wretched luck.
The one-time world No.1 junior’s career has been cruelly stop-start due to five rounds of knee surgery, but Kubler says he isn’t one to look.
“I’m sort of the person that doesn’t think too much about the past, so maybe I could have got caught up with the things that have happened or maybe the opportunities I may have had,” he said.
“I’m sort of just thinking about now. Even thinking of the third round, obviously it’s a great moment, but it’s almost like I know after this tournament, regardless how I go, there is still a lot of work to do.
“I’m only 98, 99, 100 in the rankings, obviously it’s a great moment, but I know after this I’m going to go back to working hard and hopefully improving the ranking.”
Improving his ranking rather than upgrading his car, like fellow Australian qualifier Zoe Hives planned on doing with her Stg 50,000 ($A89,000) Wimbledon pay-day.
“I can’t get the car. I’d like to try and find somewhere to finally live. That would be cool,” Kubler said.
“No car for me. I have my little Astro.”