Chris Eubanks earned raves as a television commentator but at Wimbledon has had to come to terms with being a source of media fascination himself, as he toppled Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round on Monday.
The American made it into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his first Wimbledon main draw, along the way encountering surreal reminders of his skyrocketing success.
“Everything from realizing that I have two credentials at Wimbledon for the rest of my life, to checking my phone and seeing my name as an ESPN alert,” Eubanks said after he was asked what the most surreal part of his journey has been.
“The entire experience together has just been a whirlwind. It’s been something that you dream about. But I think for me I didn’t really know if that dream would actually come true. I’m sitting here in it now, so it’s pretty cool.”
Ranked 43rd in the world, the 27-year-old cracked the top 100 only four months ago.
Now, he is preparing for a showdown with Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev, who days earlier praised Eubanks for his “total tennis” and fearless style of play.
“It’s a bit nuts right now. It’s crazy to see my social media feed that I’m just used to kind of going to, seeing it’s a lot of me. I’m like, What is this? This is weird,” he told reporters.
“I’ve been able to find a way to compartmentalize everything, realize this is a pretty big moment, but also saying, This is a tennis match that I need to play in a couple days.”
The triumph over Tsitsipas marked his ninth straight win on grass for the Tennis Channel commentator, who has earned the adoration of the Wimbledon crowd as the unlikely last American man standing.
That crowd support could come in handy against mighty Medvedev, against whom he lost in straight sets earlier this year in Miami.
“What helps analyze my next opponent is that I played him a few months ago. That’s probably going to be the biggest thing,” he said. “Granted, different court, different surface, different conditions. That will probably be the biggest thing.”
/ 3 years ago
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