Daniil Medvedev delivers the knockout blow to Chris Eubanks’ remarkable run | Wimbledon

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And just like that, it was over. Chris Eubanks, who had come from obscurity to win the hearts of the crowd, was on the verge of continuing his Wimbledon odyssey. Two sets to one up, only a tiebreak stood between him and the semi-finals. But as soon as the chance presented itself, it was gone.

By the next moment, Daniil Medvedev had pulled level, then broken twice in successive service games to send the American giant crashing to earth. The fairytale had ended.

Medvedev, the No 3 seed, won 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-1 and is now in his first Wimbledon semi-final, his best run at this tournament by far. He will now face Carlos Alcaraz, which might well prove his Alamo, given the inconsistent nature of his play in this match. But the Russian found his best moments at the biggest points and that proved to be the difference.

For Eubanks, who pumped his fist at the crowd, only semi-ironically, when he won his first game of the fifth set at 4-0 down, there will be nothing but good memories from the past 10 days. The 27 year old has failed to qualify for Grand Slams for much of his career, his second-round progress in Melbourne earlier this year his career highlight.

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This showing, at a tournament he has never played before and on a surface he once said he “hated”, was not only memorable for the storyline but for the quality of the tennis and the way he struck up a rapport with the crowds thanks to his good grace and laconic on-court humour. Certainly he was the favoured of the two players here, despite Medvedev’s own professed affection for court No 1.

The opening exchanges of the match suggested a lop-sided contest, in favour of the Russian. While both players were matching each other on the service line – 75% first serves in at 128mph on average – Medvedev’s defence meant that even Eubanks’ hammer of a forehand was struggling to break through. Meanwhile, the longer the points wore on, the more the Russian was able to assert his control.

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A higher-ranked player going on the counter attack was different from Eubanks’ experiences against Cameron Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas in recent days. In only his second service game Eubanks looked uncharacteristically ruffled. He served two double faults in a row to surrender a break and was held at arm’s length as Medvedev took the set.

But then Eubanks came bouncing back. At 2-1 on the Medvedev serve the Russian was left floundering by an increase in the American’s intensity. At 30-40 Eubanks attacked the serve with gusto, leaving Medvedev reeling even as he found a return. Another driven forehand, another defence, but on the third time of asking Medvedev could only send a forehand wide of the line and he was broken.

Medvedev coughed up his serve again on the next service game and appeared in disarray as Eubanks ran through the set 6-1. As the Russian tried together his thoughts, Eubanks punished him once more, breaking serve at the start of the third set, and serving cleanly for the rest to win 6-4.

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It appeared Eubanks had the match under control and the fourth set seemed like a suspension of hostilities, with serves dominating and both players remaining conservative in their ground strokes. It seemed as if each man had accepted the set would go to a tiebreak, that the match would head to a crucial moment.

Perhaps this was a miscalculation on the part of Eubanks as it was in that crucible that the former world No 1 and 2021 US Open champion found his mettle. At 3-3 and after an exchange of mini-breaks, Medvedev pounced on a Eubanks serve to drive the American onto his back foot and the punish the resultant weak forehand.

The crowd sensed the match had turned and so did Eubanks who fell to pieces. After the match, as he made his way from court 1 there was applause for the new underdog hero. The winner, meanwhile, shook the hand of the umpire, and barely celebrated at all.

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