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A NEW SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGES TENNIS PROS TO SHARE PERSONAL STORIES ABOUT THEIR LIVES

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BEHIND THE RACQUET

On Instagram (@behindtheracquet), Twitter (@BehindTRacquet) and Facebook

Tennis press conferences can produce moments of insight, but the stilted environment rarely encourages deep reflection. "Yep, I feel great today, I played hard, my opponent played well, blah blah blah," says Noah Rubin (above, left), who entered March as the world No. 152. "We're so used to the same old sentences."

Rubin, 23, is trying to change that. In January he launched Behind The Racquet, a Humans of New York--inspired social media project featuring portraits of tennis players and accompanying stories, many of them deeply personal. Rubin conducts the interviews himself. "This has given me the perfect excuse to go up to them and ask really tough questions," he says. Madison Keys (above, upper right), a 2017 U.S. Open finalist, described struggling with an eating disorder as a teenager, while Ernesto Escobedo (above, lower right) opened up about his stutter. "I'm not a journalist; I'm a tennis player," Rubin says. "I just want them to have an outlet to share their stories."

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