Eubanks Stuns Tsitsipas In See-Saw Wimbledon Thriller
Christopher Eubanks’ red-hot run on the grass shows little sign of abating at Wimbledon.
The American held his nerve to upset fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Monday and reach his maiden major quarter-final at SW19. Eubanks, who lifted his first ATP Tour title in Mallorca prior to Wimbledon, prevailed against the Greek in a serve-dominated encounter defined by short, sharp rallies to seal his ninth consecutive tour-level win.
“I feel like I’m living a dream right now. This is absolutely insane,” said an elated Eubanks in his on-court interview. “When you paint all of the context… I’ve tried so much to just block everything out and focus on the next match, as cliché as it sounds, but [reaching my first major quarter-final] is surreal. I can’t believe it.”
The key to Eubanks’ victory on No. 2 Court was his ability to be clinical with his chances on return. He did not carve out a single break point in the first three sets, but after Tsitsipas double faulted to gift him the decisive break in the ninth game of the fourth set, the American twice powered clean backhand down-the-line winners to convert break points in the decider as he wrapped a famous three-hour, four-minute triumph.
“The funny thing about tennis is that you’re not always going to play your best,” said Eubanks. “You’ve just got to play really good at certain times, and I feel like I did that really well today all around.
“When it came to really important times, I feel like I executed really clearly, and I played well. I feel like I had ups and downs, which you can imagine [playing] for the first time in the fourth round of a Slam, but I came up clutch when I needed to.”
After Roman Safiullin also reached the last eight in London, Eubanks’ victory marked the first time in the Open Era that multiple Wimbledon debutants have reached the men’s singles quarter-finals. The American will next take on third seed Daniil Medvedev, who earlier led his fourth-round clash against Jiri Lehecka 6-4, 6-2 when the Czech retired due to injury.
A Eubanks win had earlier appeared unlikely after Tsitsipas came out firing behind his delivery in the pair’s maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. The Greek dropped just nine points on serve across the first and second sets, but a double fault at 3/4 in the second-set tie-break proved pivotal as Eubanks levelled the match at one set all.
Undeterred by that disappointment, Tsitsipas again assumed control with a dominant third-set display, as his serve and huge forehand worked in sync to overpower Eubanks. Yet the American showcased plenty of resilience to stick with the World No. 5, and another Tsitsipas double fault at 4-5, 30/40 sent the match to a decider.
With an enraptured crowd relishing every point, it was Eubanks who channelled the raucous atmosphere most effectively. His backhands to break in both the first and seventh games reflected his recent surge of self-belief on grass, as did the crushing forehand winner he delivered on match point to seal his maiden Top 5 triumph.
“The grass and I have had a very strenuous, I would say, relationship over the years,” said Eubanks. “But right now, I think it’s my best friend.”