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Christopher Eubanks: Story of American man who has surprised the tennis world with his Wimbledon 2023 performance

Christopher Eubanks faces former World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

When this year’s edition of The Championships began on July 3, Eubanks was one of the 13 American men in the singles main draw. In the presence of players like Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, and Tommy Paul, not much was expected from the 27-year-old Eubanks even though he had won his maiden ATP title on grass in Mallorca the week prior to the Slam.

As it turns out, Eubanks is the last American man left in the draw but only after his stunning victories over British No. 1 Cameron Norrie and fifth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas on the way to the last-eight stage.

Christopher is the son of Mark and Carla Eubanks and hails from Atlanta in the southeastern US state of Georgia. He also has a brother named Mark, who is 13 years elder than him. Mark Sr. introduced his elder son to tennis. Christopher used to sit and watch while his father taught his elder brother about the sport. Mark even managed to get a college scholarship but did not have the passion for the spot.

However, it was a different case when it came to Christopher. “I don’t know how old [Chris] was, but he started walking. And then he started running. And we would take him out to the court and he wouldn’t sit long enough. So I just put a racquet in his hand. It was around age two, I think, that I put a racquet in his hand and I noticed he had good eye-hand coordination and then we just built from there, “ Mark Sr. told the in an interview.

Mark Sr., who has also been in the pastoral ministry for more than three decades, never played the sport professionally but learned the technicalities while playing with colleagues from the airline he worked for. He taught young Christopher during his initial years, including the use of both his hands for the forehand and backhand shots, since he wanted him to play with a regular-sized racquet. Eventually, he did switch to the single-handed forehand and backhand.

Later on, Eubanks learned from former Top 50 player Donald Young but did not play a lot of junior events during his teen years.

College career

Eubanks played college tennis from 2015-17 at Georgia Tech, where he was ACC Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017. He also reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA championship.

Professional career

He made his Tour-level debut as a wildcard at the Atlanta Open where he lost in the opening round in 2015. He turned pro two years later and made his Grand Slam debut at the 2017 US Open. However, he had to wait for five years to get his first match win at a Major – when he defeated Spain’s Pedro Martinez in the first round at Flushing Meadows in 2022.

The 6’7” tall and wiry Eubanks struggled to breach the Top 100 until his astonishing run at this year’s Miami Open where he came from the qualifying round and beat players like Borna Coric and Adrian Mannarino before going down to eventual champion Medvedev in the quarterfinals.

Eubanks and his relationship with grass

Eubanks prefers to play on hard court like most American players. However, a conversation with four-time Major winner Kim Clijsters changed his perspective on grass. The two met each other at Indian Wells during an event and then spoke for hours where the American kept on asking the Belgian questions.

After his loss at a Challenger event on grass in Surbiton, Eubanks texted Clijsters looking for solutions to his problems on the surface. “Bend your knees and focus on movement. Stop planting your foot to change direction, and take a few extra steps so you wouldn’t slip all over the place, “ Clijsters told him.

Two weeks later, Eubanks grabbed his maiden Tour-level title on grass in Mallorca after a run that included saving multiple match points against Lloyd Harris in the semifinals.

After failing multiple times in the qualifying round at Wimbledon previously, the American made his main draw debut this year and since then, has impressed everyone not just with his play but with his demeanor on the court. Eubanks can be seen smiling most of the time.

Off the court

Eubanks has also done commentary for the Tennis Channel. He also acted as Arthur Ashe’s double in the documentary ‘Citizen Ashe about the life of the American tennis legend.

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