Local player falls in first round at New York Open

2/14/2018 8:41:30 AM EST

The home-court edge wasn't enough to boost Noah Rubin to an upset win Tuesday in the New York Open at Uniondale, N.Y.

Rubin, a 21-year-old from nearby Merrick, N.Y., lost 7-5, 6-3 to fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan in a first-round match at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum.

The tournament gave a wild-card entry to Rubin, who is ranked 232nd in the world.

Rubin won the match's first three games before fading in a 1-hour, 34-minute defeat.

"I was excited to have the home crowd," Rubin said, according to Newsday. "They might not have come out for the first couple matches, but they were filling in and they were really supportive.

"I came out playing pretty well. ... I (erred on) a few points early in the 5-all game and he got some confidence. You really have to step up your own game, and I really didn't do it enough in the end."

Nishikori wound up with 14 break points, converting five of them, while Rubin was 2-for-2 on his break chances.

Still, the match was memorable Rubin's family. Rubin was playing in the main draw of an ATP Tour event for the first time since April, as he missed much of the year due to a wrist injury.

Rubin's mother, Melanie, told Newsday, "To have Noah play on the black courts of the New York Open, the inaugural tournament at the Coliseum when we took Noah and his sister Jessie all these years to the circus, and the Islander games and the rodeo, Disney on Ice, to have him playing tennis here against the greatest players in the world is unreal."

Rubin's coach/father Eric told the newspaper, "When you think about team sports, the Knicks want to be home, the Islanders want to be home, everybody wants to play home. I think Noah has that same feeling."

In other first-round action Tuesday, seventh-seeded Steve Johnson fell apart late in a 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) loss to Spanish qualifier Adrian Menendez-Maceiras. Johnson squandered two match points while in front 5-3 in the final set. He also led 6-3 in the tiebreaker before failing to convert another three match points.

Menendez-Maceiras completed the comeback on his second match point.

Other first-round winners were American qualifier Ernesto Escobedo, Moldova's Rady Albot, France's Jeremy Chardy, Russia's Mikhail Youzhny and Evgeny Donskoy and Germany's Peter Gojowczyk. Escobedo edged fellow American Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

--Field Level Media