Newly Minted Pro Chris Eubanks Back to Winning Ways at 2017 Charlottesville Challenger
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
(Charlottesville, VA–October 31) Eight days ago, Chris Eubanks announced that he would give up his final season of eligibility at Georgia Tech to turn pro. Not much else has changed for Eubanks in that time, as the 2016 Charlottesville semifinalist simply returned to his winning ways here in a tight two-set victory over Canadian Samuel Monette, 7-6(9), 6-4. He had plenty of praise for his opponent after notching pro victory Numero Uno.
“I knew that (Monette) going in, it was going to be a grind to play him. He fights as good as anybody out there. He makes you play,” he said of the young Canadian. “I had a very slow start and my legs weren’t working. I don’t know what it was, but luckily after I got a couple of holds I kind of found my legs,” he continued.
As is so often the case, the long tiebreak would prove momentous in this match as well. “The breaker was a battle, a really big momentum shifter,” Eubanks said. “Whoever got that breaker was going to have a little extra juice and I was fortunate to save a couple of set points and come out on top of the breaker and give me some momentum.”
Eubanks gained that momentum and served first in the second set.
Like most players, Eubanks refuses to use numerical rankings toward his near and short-term goals. “Just to be be better every day,” he said. “I don’t want to put certain numbers or quantitative benchmarks on it. I just want to continue to progress and say ‘Hey, I think I’m a better player than I was two months ago’. When the end of December comes and I can say that I’m a much better player than I am right at this moment, then I think I had a successful year.”
You know you’ve got a Georgia Tech engineer on your hands when “quantitative benchmarks” come up at a tennis court. Eubanks will face Next Gen contender Michael Mmoh in Round 2.