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Inside The Rise Of Locker Room Favourite Christopher Eubanks | ATP Tour | Tennis

Christopher Eubanks is able to make his Wimbledon essential draw debut on Tuesday. Three months in the past on a wet night in Miami, he was overwhelmed. After a rain delay of almost two hours, the American had simply defeated Gregoire Barrere to succeed in his maiden fourth spherical at an ATP Masters 1000 occasion. Extra importantly, it assured he would crack the Prime 100 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

When he spoke to reporters shortly after the match, Eubanks struggled to carry again tears. It was as if a weight had lifted off his shoulders due to how vital the milestone was to him. It was telling how many individuals had been excited for him that evening, too. Followers and gamers alike shared their congratulations on social media. Eubanks, who has an infectious smile to enrich his booming serve and forehand, additionally has a gravitational drive that attracts individuals in.

Pal and WTA star Coco Gauff FaceTimed him the second he returned to the bowels of Exhausting Rock Stadium after his win over Barrere. All through the week celebrities got here out to cheer for him, too. Former NFL star Chad Johnson waited out rain delays to observe Eubanks’ fourth-round victory. Members of the Tennis Channel group received drenched by the pouring rain hours after their present had ended to be there for his or her colleague, who has tremendously loved working as a broadcaster when time has allowed. Actor Jamie Foxx, who has develop into a mentor to Eubanks, was within the stands for the quarter-finals.

It was Eubanks’ second, however so many individuals had been blissful for him and desperate to lend their help.

“Everybody would let you know that from the second they meet Chris, he is a really real man,” mentioned fellow Atlanta-native and former Prime 200 participant Kevin Kingwho was a volunteer assistant coach at Georgia Tech, the place Eubanks competed for 3 years. “I believe that is why so many individuals like him. You are not going to search out anybody on the market that has a nasty factor to say about Chris. He wears his feelings on his sleeve. He is very real. He will get together with everybody.”

For a very long time, Eubanks has been identified within the tennis neighborhood as one of many nicest guys on Tour. Typically, that has overshadowed his efficiency on the court docket. Not anymore.

On Saturday, Eubanks defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 6-4 to win in Mallorca to assert his first ATP Tour title and break into the world’s Prime 50. As a substitute of basking within the highlight by himself, Eubanks rattled off the names of a number of individuals who had helped him to the second, together with coach Ruan RoelofseKing and Georgia Tech Head Coach Kenny Thorne.

“He genuinely does have a good time different individuals,” Thorne mentioned. “They really feel that and when that occurs, and he has his personal success, after you are actually placing in quite a lot of work, then it is very easy to have a good time him.”

<img src="https://www.atptour.com/-/media/photos/information/2023/07/01/18/47/eubanks-mallorca-2023-trophy.jpg" type="width:100%;" alt="Christopher Eubanks” />
Eubanks celebrates his first ATP Tour title. Photo:
Mallorca Championships
In line with Thorne, Eubanks confirmed as a lot ardour for serving to others in the neighborhood throughout his time at Georgia Tech as he did his matches. It doesn’t matter what process was put in entrance of him, the American attacked it with ardour.

“I keep in mind he was enjoying within the Atlanta Open one yr. We had carried out one thing and one of many neighborhood service occasions, and he met a younger boy, and I believe the boy requested him to come back hit or do one thing,” Thorne recalled. “And he simply confirmed up, it was like the subsequent day, and I believe [Chris] needed to play that evening or play the subsequent day. And he is out round Atlanta, sort of fulfilling this boy’s dream, which was unbelievable.

“However all the opposite gamers are considerably properly staying in and getting relaxation and ensuring they’re able to play but additionally he is distinctive. It energises him, he desires to present again. And he was raised that means.”

Thorne credit Eubanks’ father Mark, a Baptist minister, and mom, Carla, for instilling sure values of their son.

“I believe that is in all probability the largest, all-encompassing theme of how I attempt to go about life, is simply treating others the best way you need to be handled,” Eubanks mentioned. “And oftentimes I discover that in sport, we discover tales of nice athletes who’re simply killer rivals, who’re, killer mindset on a regular basis. And [at] instances in sport, it is good. However for me that mindset going off of the court docket would not actually mesh nicely with my persona.

“I believe you’ll be able to draw the road between saying, I is usually a good particular person, and particular person off the court docket, and likewise nonetheless need to win and nonetheless be aggressive. And you do not have to let these two sort of overlap.”

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If Eubanks is within the temper to snort or joke, he’s going to do this. If an vital match is arising, he’ll do his greatest to be prepared. However that doesn’t forestall him from having enjoyable and exhibiting the world he’s doing so, so long as he’s giving his greatest effort on the court docket.

It’s becoming that certainly one of Eubanks’ idols was Arthur Ashea participant who regardless of successful Wimbledon and the US Openturned identified for his impression off the court docket. Eubanks, who acted as a double for Ashe within the documentary Citizen Ashe, discovered from his legacy the significance of schooling and philanthropy.

“Schooling, philanthropy, so many issues off the court docket, and we are able to rave about how nice of a participant he was. However the impression that he had on individuals outdoors of the court docket, I believe is among the greatest issues to stay with me, as a result of we nonetheless discuss him to today,” Eubanks mentioned. “The biggest tennis stadium on the earth is called after him. And it is not simply because he was an amazing tennis participant. It is due to the issues that he did outdoors the court docket, which made him such an icon.”

Tennis has been a significant a part of Eubanks’ life so long as he can keep in mind. His father would play tennis with Chris’ older brother, Mark, so he would tag alongside. “I’ve all the time been on the tennis court docket swinging a racquet. And I do not actually know life with out enjoying tennis,” Eubanks mentioned.

From the age of 15, as an alternative of specializing in junior tournaments, Eubanks turned a coaching accomplice for former World No. 38 Donald Young.

“I traveled all around the world with him. And for me, that was big, as a result of it allowed me to follow with a participant who was Prime 50 on the time, which not many 15 and 16 yr olds may do each single day,” Eubanks mentioned. “I believe it additionally allowed me to see that me enjoying skilled tennis was an actual risk as a result of I felt like as a child, if you do not know any skilled tennis gamers, you do not have entry to any skilled tennis gamers, it is sort of laborious to imagine you can be an expert tennis participant and he gave me that entry.”

Eubanks attended Georgia Tech, the place he was a two-time All-American. After turning professional in 2017, following three years in faculty, issues didn’t all the time go his means. In April 2018 he cracked the Prime 200 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and in March 2019 the Prime 150, however the Prime 100 proved a white whale. Eubanks admitted it was generally robust to observe his friends excel.

“I positively suppose there was some jealousy in a wholesome or unhealthy means, relying on the way you need to have a look at it. And for some motive, I believe over the previous couple of years, I simply mentioned, ‘Why?’” Eubanks mentioned. “Different individuals’s shine would not essentially take away from me, I can nonetheless be blissful for different individuals, after which simply settle for the truth that all people’s time goes to be their time, it should be their very own second at any time when it occurs. So me sitting there, sort of being upset that anyone achieved a milestone earlier than I did, or anyone received their first Grand Slam win earlier than I did, it does me no good. So why am I feeling like that?”

Now it’s Eubanks’ second within the solar, which isn’t stunning to these round him. King remembers watching Eubanks at Georgia Tech for the primary time.

“It was fairly apparent he had quite a lot of expertise and he actually cherished the sport. I believe his persona and love for the sport is what actually confirmed probably the most, which was fairly cool to see,” King mentioned. “And I believe that is actually what has helped him get to the place he’s right now, is sort of that zeal and love for the sport.”

At his roots, Eubanks continues to be the boy who tagged alongside together with his father and brother to the tennis courts and grew to obsess over the game, spending numerous hours watching previous YouTube movies of prime gamers. Now as he competes in the principle draw of probably the most well-known match on the earth for the primary time, it’s Eubanks’ sport persons are watching.

“He celebrates individuals after they’re having their successes very well. That is not actual widespread on the tour,” Thorne mentioned. “And so I believe, this yr, it is actually been good to have a good time him.”


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Printed : 2023-07-03 15:08:00

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