Christopher Eubanks continued his breakthrough season on Saturday as he claimed his first ATP Tour title at the Majorca Championships.
Following his triumph, the American is poised to debut in the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP rankings at No. 43 when he enters Wimbledon. The 27-year-old took to ATPTour.com to reflect on being crowned champion at the ATP 250 grass court event.
What does winning your first title mean to you?
It means everything. It means that a lot of the hard work I’ve done and the persistence I’ve tried to have through the ups and downs of my career, it’s all worth it. It’s all worth it for this moment right here, to stand here as a champion in an ATP event. It means the world, and it’s something very special.
If someone told you at the start of the season that you would win your first title this year, would you have chosen grass as a surface to do it on?
Absolutely not. My grass court season got off to a bit of a rough start at the Surbiton Challenger, I lost in the second round. I began to question whether I could be good on the surface. I didn’t think I could.
But my coach, Ruan Roelofse, and I, we’ve put in a lot of work on the grass to try to understand the footing and the shots and everything I need to be successful. And it all paid off this week.
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Take a moment to acknowledge some of the key figures in your life and career who have helped you reach this milestone.
There are so many of them. I have to start with my family, my family has stood behind me. My mother [Carla]my father [Mark]my older brother [Mark]. Donald Young and his family were so, so influential in my career. He allowed me to travel with him as a practice partner from the age of 15. So I got to see professional tennis up close and the more you see it, the more you actually believe you can do it.
Jarmere Jenkins and his family. He is like a big brother to me, continues to guide me consistently. Coco Gauff and her family is like another family, it’s like my little sister, so I’m probably willing to bet I have a text or something from her. My college coaches Kenny Thorne, Kevin King and Derek Schwandt, they really pushed me.
One that I really want to shout out is Kim Clijsters because after my first week on grass I texted Kim and I said, ‘Grass is the stupidest surface to play tennis on, I don’t know why we’re players on a course so uneven that I cannot get my footing!’ And Kim sent me a really positive message back, just telling me areas where she was struggling on the grass and things to work on to feel more and more comfortable on it. So I have to give her a huge, huge shout out. I look forward to calling her.
You started the year outside the Top 120, now you’ve cracked the Top 50. Did you think it was possible? What does it mean to be a Top 50 player?
I thought it was possible, I didn’t know if I wanted to do it. I didn’t know if I could be consistent enough to really put together four, five games multiple times. I was able to do it in Miami, I was able to do it here. So I think it was more of a consistency issue for myself, not necessarily if I have the game to do it. And I was able to do it. I think I’ve proven something to myself and now it’s an extra motivation to keep working harder.
How much confidence and self-belief did your quarterfinal run in Miami give you?
I think it gave me a lot. It was the first time I have collected so many matches against that quality of opponents. So after Miami, I had to sit back and look and say, ‘You know what? Maybe I can be consistent, I’m not just one hot match, one cold match, maybe I can put things together.’ I think that was a huge, huge, huge part of my success this week, just believing that I could do it.
How excited are you for your Wimbledon main draw debut, especially coming into the event in top form?
Really, really excited. Never played Wimbledon main draw. So it will be something completely new. I’m looking forward to getting there. I have a practice set tomorrow at Aorangi [Park]. I’m really excited to get on the plane, get to London and get on the grounds of Wimbledon. It will be such an honor.
How did you start playing tennis? What are some of your early memories with the sport?
I have an older brother who was already involved in tennis when I was born. So when I came, my father worked with my older brother. And then I started at the age where I could run and walk, it was just easy to get me out of the house to go with them to the tennis courts. And then when I could run and I was athletic enough to stay on my feet, my father put a tennis racket in my hand. So it kind of started with my dad and my older brother.
What do you consider to be your biggest passion outside of tennis?
Probably broadcasting. I really enjoy doing commentary for the Tennis Channel. I’ve been able to do that a few times. And it’s something that sparked my interest back in 2021 when I saw some of my friends who were unfortunately out with injuries start doing broadcasts and I said, ‘This looks like it could be a lot of fun, maybe I should give it a go!’
I think my first time was last year during the clay court season. I had a chance to do it and I was like ‘Man, this is a lot of fun.’ It’s fun to be able to watch tennis, talk tennis, something I do in my free time anyway. So might as well go ahead and make it a little more formal.
How will it feel playing in your hometown of Atlanta later this month when you are introduced as the ATP Tour champion?
It’s going to be incredible, I’ve had so many memories at that tournament. Some of my best memories of my career have come at that tournament, so it’s going to be really fun to step foot on the court and hear them say: ‘ATP Tour champion’.