By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, March 30, 2023
MIAMI—Head room was scarce as Christopher Eubanks walked onto Hard Rock Stadium Court.
The 6’7″ Eubanks’ aqua Asics baseball cap almost grazed the highest of the tunnel he stepped by means of onto the stadium.
More: Medvedev Moves Past Eubanks Into Miami Semifinals
The American qualifier showed a high ceiling in his 6-3, 7-5 Miami Open quarterfinal loss to Daniil Medvedev.
In an inspired run through the draw, qualifier Eubanks reached his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal, cracked the Top 100 for the first time, received a pep talk from actor Jamie Foxx and rises to a career-high ranking of No. 85 in the live rankings.
Eubanks gained something even greater than ranking points: The self-belief that he belongs on these stages facing the best.
“[It] is that I can compete with a few of the finest gamers on the earth, and I do know that now,” Eubanks said of his quarterfinal performance. “Whereas earlier than, we will go and observe all day and observe with, you understand, Frances [Tiafoe], I’ve practiced with Daniil again in 2019 in Australia, I practiced with some actually good guys, but it surely’s all the time totally different if you’re rolling the balls out in an precise match.
“I think now the belief for me is stronger, because I have seen it, I know that I can do it, and I think that’s probably the biggest difference is now when I’m going into matches I think from here on out, I’ll have an expectation of a higher level, a higher expectation of myself and what I want to see from myself and maybe just even higher confidence.”
Tennis is all about changes and the Atlanta-based all-courter has made some huge ones all through his tennis profession.
The 26-year-old Eubanks grew up taking part in with two fingers off each side, like Monica Seles and the younger Rafa Nadal, earlier than choosing a one-handed forehand at in regards to the age of 10.
Four years later, he dropped his two-handed backhand in favor of a one-hander for one easy cause: His tennis hero Roger Federer performed with a one-hander.
“It’s a bit of a running joke now between me and some of my friends, my dad, when I switched to the one-handed backhand,” Eubanks stated. “I wanted to do it because I loved Federer.
“Now I’m going to my dad, Why did you let me try this? You had no concept guys would simply go throw balls above my shoulder for my total profession. You know, it is the way it goes.”
Still, Eubanks’ selection, his willingness to assault internet, and the slice, when it is working, make him a unique stylist than most American males.
Whether this dedicated Miami run is career-changing stays to be seen, however Eubanks believes it has altered his place on the sport—and strengthened his perception he has much more room to develop.
“I was down a set and break to Borna Coric in the second round, and now I’m sitting here in the quarterfinals. To some degree, it’s like, wow, I could have been at home a week ago.
“So I believe having that perspective is necessary. I definitely do not need to say happy that it is like, oh, I positively went on the market desirous to win and anticipating that, you understand, to have a sport plan to place me able, I might say, to win.
“But, you know, that’s just tennis, you know. There is only one winner every single week. You kind of have learned to take the lessons from each loss as they come and hopefully you can take one loss, move on to the next week and say, all right, now I just continue to build and build and build.” Photo credit score: Matthew Stockman/Getty