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Eubanks Rising! American Lets Emotions Flow After Top-100 Milestone

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday March 28, 2023

Chris Eubanks is officially in late bloom mode. The Atlanta native, a former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, is having one of the best weeks of his career at the Miami Open.

Tennis Express

The 26-year-old, ranked 117 entering the week, has engineered victories over Denis Kudla, Borna Coric (his first career Top 20 win) and Gregoire Barrere to reach the round of 16 at Miami for the first time.

That’s not all…

The two-time NCAA All-American entered the week with just two Masters 1000 main draw victories to his name, but he’s more than doubled that number and also ensured himself of a Top-100 ranking in next week’s ATP rankings for the first time.

The American savored the magical moment on court, hugging his team after the 6-3, 7-6(7) victory over Barrere, and afterwards he conducted an emotional press conference in the mixed zone with reporters at the Miami Open.

Eubanks said he had to find a way to stop thinking about reaching the Top 100, and he had the perfect solution. Delete the app!

“I was thinking about the Top 100 and everything, and I had some losses that I shouldn’t have,” he said. “This week I said ‘Alright I’m going to delete the rankings app,’ and focus on playing every single match,” he said, on the verge of tears. “It feels good.”

Eubanks, who spends his off hours as a Tennis Channel analyst, was clearly on cloud nine. His voice was cracking and he found it hard to speak as he explained what the moment meant to him.

“I’m one of those people who watch people get all emotional and stuff and I’m like ‘Yeah, it’s so dramatic,’ but thinking back, it’s just weird – everything is coming together…. Growing up I was never the best junior, I was never the was the best in my state, never was the best in my section, never was the best in the nation, I just kept practicing and working and said ‘Hey, whatever happens, happens.’”

Eubanks, who will turn 27 in May, has needed time to find his self-belief on the court.

“I got a scholarship [to college] – great. I said I wanted to go pro, but didn’t know if I really meant it,” he said. “Honestly I didn’t really know if I had the game to compete with top-level guys. I didn’t know if I had the consistency to win enough matches to get there.”

The American had to weather a lot of stress on Monday, as his second-set tiebreak was interrupted by rain with Barrere leading 5-2.

“And to do it the way I did it in that match, with a rain delay – I was up a set and a break serving probably the best I’ve ever served as a professional… got to a breaker, 4-2 I started seeing the rain coming, tried to rush a point, ended up slipping, losing a point and now it’s 5-2. Come back out of that miss a second-serve return, down 6-2 and somehow to win that match – it’s crazy.”

But the American got some wisdom from a compatriot who was in a similar situation. Frances Tiafoe was one of the first players Eubanks ran into during the rain delay. The 12th-seeded American was in a pickle himself, trailing by a set and a break to Lorenzo Sonego, but he still had time to send some positive vibes in the direction of his friend.

An Assist to Tiafoe

“The first person I saw when I went into the locker room was Frances,” Eubanks said, according to Steph Livaudis of “I said something like, ‘Yeah hopefully I find my range in case this goes three.’ And Frances was like, ‘Man, forget that! You can go out there and win seven points in a row!’ Those were his exact words to me… I was like, you know what? That’s a good idea.”

Tiafoe went on to lose his match to Sonego, but his contribution to Eubanks’ win should not go unnoticed. This type of camaraderie is a big reason why the American men are thriving on tour at the moment.

As for Eubanks, he’ll enter Wednesday’s quarterfinal with France’s Adrian Mannarino as the underdog, but he has already proven this week in Miami that he’s got an excellent game, and newfound confidence to match.