From broke to breakout for Aussie battler
ONE day last year Jason Kubler checked his bank balance and found he had 14 cents in his account.
Kubler's 2018 tennis earnings are $234,878 after he broke into the world's top 100 on Monday for the first time in a career in which he has had six knee surgeries.
The 25-year-old from Brisbane lost his Vancouver Challenger final in Canada on Monday to Britain's Daniel Evans 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-3) but a 10-place rankings jump to No.99 means he will take up Tennis Australia's reciprocal wildcard at next week's US Open as the game's newest top-100 player.
The determined Kubler, who went six full years without playing a hardcourt tournament because of his knees, has made three Challenger level finals on hardcourts this year.
The former world No.1 junior came to the conclusion that knee pain would accompany him through any tournament so he might as well play on something other than the clay surfaces on which he competed.
He coached players in Brisbane last year during an extended break but a good run of better luck with his knees has improved his ranking during 2018 by 243 places.
The Brisbane right-hander is now the fifth-ranked Australian man, behind Nick Kyrgios (30), Alex de Minaur (43), Matt Ebden (53) and John Millman (54).
Kyrgios dropped 12 places with his Cincinnati quarter-final exit last week and now could play a top-eight seed as early as the third round in New York.
Another Queenslander, Lizette Cabrera, won TA's playoff on Monday for a women's wildcard for the US Open, taking out Victoria's Ellen Perez 6-2 6-3 in the final.
Novak Djokovic became the first man to win all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles with a 6-4 6-4 win over Roger Federer in the final in Cincinnati.
Djokovic won his first Cincinnati title in his sixth final there.
"It is an amazing accomplishment, and I hope he's extremely proud and extremely happy about it," Federer said.