South Carolina is home to a national championship, and more specifically, Paul Jubb — the man behind the growing success of the Gamecocks men’s tennis program, thanks to his latest victory that gave South Carolina its first national champion in men's tennis.
“It was just surreal,” Jubb said. “I said (to Goffi) we did it. And all the emotions came out of me, and I thanked him for taking a chance and recruiting me and allowing me to come here, and I was just so happy," Jubb told The State.
Jubb is from Hull, England and came to Columbia as a freshman for the 2016-17 season. Jubb immediately set records as a freshman at South Carolina. He has won the fifth-most SEC single matches in program history and has the third-highest SEC singles winning percentage.
Jubb held a 32-4 record this past season, including an 11-1 record in SEC play, which helped him land a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Jubb advanced all the way to the men's singles national championship, where he faced off against Nuno Borges of Mississippi State. Borges had a career overall record of 89-21, while also boasting an SEC record of 27-8.
Jubb was ahead in the first and second set 2-0, but Borges eventually tied the game. However, Jubb persisted and came out victorious, winning the match 6-3, 7-6. This win was the first time that a South Carolina men's tennis player was crowned a national champion.
Jubb had the last swing and fell to the ground, covered his face with his hands and screamed in excitement.
“Unbelievable, I think just overcoming the mental part of today, and just believing I could win after losing two times already this season. I think that was the biggest part, but yeah it feels unbelievable,” Jubb told Gamecocks Online.
Jubb is not resting after claiming the school's first national champion title, however. He plans to go back home for the summer to improve even more as he looks towards becoming a professional player.
“Just gotta plan and schedule, and see what tournaments I can play and stuff," Jubb told Gamecocks Online. "Definitely looking to play on the pro sector."
Jubb is already preparing himself for the next season and will continue to strive as a player as he defends his title as the men's singles national champion.