Wimbledon: Eubanks Is Peaking At The Right Time
In his Wimbledon debut, American Christopher Eubanks defeated Australian Christopher O’Connell 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 7-6(2) to reach the Round of 16.
Eubanks, 27, is on an 8-match winning streak, having won five matches en route to the title in Mallorca last week and in his opening three matches here.
A former Georgia Tech tennis star, he broke into the Top 50 for the first time this week and is now at a career-high ranking of No. 43.
In his post-match press conference, Eubanks said: “Yeah, I mean, all in all, I’m very, very pleased with how I played. It’s always tough kind of having the start and stop of a rain delay.
“But I thought I was able to kind of stay mentally there. Got off to a good start. I think I had an early break in the first, wasn’t able to consolidate, got broken back. But from that point on I thought I served exceptionally well, thought I played the big points well, I returned well late in the third.
“All in all, I’m really, really pleased with my performance.”
Eubanks said that in the warmup, he looked up in the stands of Court 18 and realized it was the Isner-Mahut court. “I watched tennis on this court for three days one time a few years ago,” he said. “That was kind of cool. And to see the stands pretty packed.”
Eubanks was asked to tell a bit about his journey, his backstory. “Okay, yeah,” he said. “Feels like an icebreaker.” The room laughed.
“Yeah, I mean, I grew up playing tennis in the States, in Atlanta, Georgia. I had an older brother that played tennis and my dad was involved with my brother when I came along. When I got to the age where I could run and swing a racquet, my dad put a racquet in my hand. It just kind of went from there doing the normal route of playing local tournaments and junior tournaments and just trying to work my way up.
“I also was extremely, extremely fortunate to grow up in the city that I did at the time that I did, because there was so many players from the city, not too far from my house, that kind of went through the trials and tribulations before me and kind of really helped me out. Whether it’s Jarmere Jenkins, who’s Serena’s long-time hitting partner, and got up to 180 himself. His older brother Jermaine Jenkins is now a coach, national coach at USTA, who played at Clemson. Donald Young who has been like a big brother to me since I was like 15. All of those guys grew up or were about 10 minutes away from where I lived. So, I was so, so lucky to have those guys at my disposal from a young age.
“I had an older cousin that played tennis in Michigan State who kind of coached me from the age of 10 to 14. It was a really cool training. Jarmere was probably the first tennis player I ever looked up to when I was like 7 or 8 years old, and then my older cousin came into my life from 10 to 14, mainly my tennis part of my life, really worked with me. Then from like 15 all through college it was Donald Young.
“So, I always say, I was so, so lucky to have those people because they kind of took me under their wing and kind of showed me what high-level of tennis was like, and made me believe that it was possible.
“I took that on and went on to Georgia Tech and did three years there before turning pro at the end of 2017. Been trying to work my way up ever since then. About as good as I can get.”
Next up for Eubanks is Stefanos Tsitsipas.