Thursday is the biggest day of Christopher Eubanks professional career. The biggest day since, well, Tuesday. Because on Tuesday afternoon, Eubanks claimed the first Grand Slam main draw win of his career against Pedro Martinez.
Tomorrow, he will play in the second round of the singles and the first round of the doubles at the US Open. Eubanks faces #11 seed Jannik Sinner in singles. Later, Eubanks will play with rookie Ben Shelton in the doubles against Argentina’s Pedro Cachin and Francisco Cerundolo. The 26-year-old from Georgia took some time to reach the second round of a Grand Slam. In fact, since turning pro in 2017, Eubanks gained a spot in a Grand Slam main draw five times and lost each time. His most recent loss came in four tight sets against Frances Tiafoe last year.
The former Georgia Tech star also played in numerous Grand Slam qualifiers, only to come up short several times, including 3 Slam qualifying losses in the first three Grand Slams of 2022. Overall, the American holds 80 Challenger level match victories but only eight match victories at the ATP Tour level. Regardless of earlier near misses, Eubanks dug deep on Tuesday and dismissed world #54 Pedro Martinez in three tight sets, including a tiebreaker to close out the match.
Before Martinez, the world’s #145 ranked player won three US Open qualifying matches last week just to advance to the main draw. The qualifying wins included a grinding 3-tiebreaker match against Gregoire Barrere. By knocking off Pedro Martinez Tuesday, Eubanks guaranteed singles earning of at least $121,000 at the US Open. This payday will exceed 10% of his career winnings and nearly double his 2022 winnings.
In addition to the financial winnings, Eubanks will likely vault to his highest career ranking. Depending on other results, even if he loses to Sinner, Eubanks will climb inside the world’s top 140 players as he looks forward to 2023 and beyond. Usually toiling on outer courts in qualifying and first-round affairs, tournament organizers scheduled Eubanks to play Sinner in Louis Armstrong stadium tomorrow afternoon. It is time for a big stage against a big opponent like the #11 seed.
Later in the day, Eubanks and Shelton will play on a yet un-scheduled court. If the Georgian gives Sinner a tough match or even wins, look for a big crowd to see him back in action in the doubles. If he can take advantage, this is Eubanks’ time to shine.