"When I was young, I had these two good coaches [Murphy and Andrea Payne]," Tubert said. "One played college and one played professionally. They got me going.
"I trained after practices. I dedicated myself to it. I played six to seven days a week, all day."
These days he trains with the Mercers. The results include laser-like forehands and backhands that clear the net by a millimeter.
"He's athletic and good on both [forehand and backhand]," Lori Mercer said. "He has a good serve and is a competitor."
"I'm an all-court player," Tubert said. "I can sit back and rally, but I also like to attack the net."
Tubert, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, has already beaten players like Jordan Belga, ranked No. 6 among Florida juniors, and Aron Hiltzik, No. 22 nationally and committed to playing at Illinois.
"I haven't thought of which school I'll go to," he said. "Not this year. I like Alabama overall, but I haven't given much it thought."
The Huntington sophomore showed off a bit Thursday by running back for a shot and striking it back with his racket between his legs. It fell just short of the net, though, prompting him to give Blazer kudos.
Beforehand, he reflected on winning the state title as a freshman.
"It was a great experience," Tubert said. "The moment I won, I was so thrilled and happy. I was excited. This year, my toughest competition is [George Washington High's] Ryan Massinople. I've played him in the past some good matches."
He has great faith in his training partner, Cassie Mercer.
"Cassie is a great player," he said. "She won the states the last two years and does great around the country. She should easily win this. I have full faith in her."
Both are worth catching while you can.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.