Inspired Eubanks upsets Briton Norrie

Inspired Eubanks upsets Briton Norrie

American Christopher Eubanks achieved the biggest victory of his career by defeating British number one Cameron Norrie 6-3 3-6 6-2 7-6(3) at Wimbledon on Friday, advancing to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Despite his towering height of 6 foot 7 inches (201 cm), Eubanks, who recently broke into the top 50 and won his first ATP title at the Mallorca Open, seemed out of place on Court One at Wimbledon.

In a match between two players who emerged from the American college system, Eubanks, with his slender build, unleashed 63 winners and served 21 aces that left 12th seed Norrie, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year, helpless.

Regardless of how many times Norrie requested his rackets to be restrung, he was unable to neutralize Eubanks’s power. Despite eliminating one of Britain’s top contenders, the 27-year-old received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Eubanks remarked, “There are many talented professional tennis players who never get the opportunity to face the number one British player at Wimbledon in an atmosphere like this. It doesn’t matter how many people were supporting or opposing me, this is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Despite making his Wimbledon debut, Eubanks displayed no signs of nervousness as Norrie failed to win a point off his serve until the seventh game of the match.

Rallies were scarce as Eubanks utilized a combination of power and finesse, employing a serve and volley strategy that bewildered Norrie and allowed him to claim the first set.

However, errors crept into Eubanks’s game in the second set, enabling Norrie to quickly establish a 3-0 lead. Encouraged by a vocal home crowd, the Briton leveled the match.

Although Eubanks’s power-based style seemed unsustainable, he broke early in the third set and secured it.

His long strides enabled him to cover the court swiftly, and as a self-proclaimed fan of Roger Federer, Eubanks won 23 points at the net, ultimately winning the fourth set tiebreak with a skillful volley.

“I watched a lot of Federer growing up. He’s the guy that even to this day I still go back and try to find some of his old matches and just try to pick little things up,” Eubanks added.

“I know he’s a far better mover than I am… But I try my best to just take little bits of various players and to implement them into my game and try to create a style of my own.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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