US Open: Chris Eubanks makes perfect start to following up Wimbledon heroics back home as he battles past Soonwoo Kwon in four sets
- Chris Eubanks changed the trajectory of his tennis career at Wimbledon
- And he got off to a good start in New York as he beat the world no. 104
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
American Chris Eubanks took the first step towards another deep Grand Slam run on Monday as he defeated Soonwoo Kwon in four sets, 6-3, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4.
It was only last month that the 27-year-old announced himself with a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon that changed the trajectory of a previously stalling tennis career.
Now a more household name back home – as evidenced by his appearance on ‘Good Morning America’ last week – he navigated a tricky opponent at Grandstand in Kwon, who took him to five sets at this year’s Australian Open.
‘I’m playing my first round on Grandstand as opposed to court four or five over there,’ he noted to the tournament’s in-house media immediately after the match.
He later told reporters, ‘It was pretty chilling when I walked out there and saw the crowd that was already there waiting.
Chris Eubanks bounced back from a poor third set to beat Soonwoo Kwon in four sets
Kwon showed signs of life when he blanked Eubanks 6-0 in the third set at Grandstand
‘To hear the applause that they gave me… I played many matches here at the Open, but nothing, anything quite like that for a first round.’
The lanky Atlanta native still seems to be coming to grips with his newfound fame, as he admitted after the match that he ‘hates’ to use the term ‘role model.’
Nonetheless, his profile has undoubtedly increased in the eyes of youngsters and tournament organizers alike, which has now enabled him to practice at some of the site’s larger venues.
‘It’s not really a luxury I’ve been able to have in previous years, just because at times you get whatever court they give you,’ he said.
‘It was pretty cool this year being able to say, ‘Hey, can I get a practice on Grandstand?’, and [be] able to get it. That was pretty cool.’
The 6-foot-7 World no. 30 fired 10 aces in a commanding first two sets before Kwon turned the match on its head.
The South Korean held serve to begin the third set before breaking Eubanks twice to open up a commanding 4-0 lead.
That soon turned to a 6-0 set win, and while Eubanks still led the match, it was a stark reversal from what had been a confident start to the match.
He could be seen briefly heading back to the locker room after Kwon fired a forehand winner to take the set.
Eubanks kept his nerve in the fourth set to advance to the second round of the US Open
Kwon began the fourth set by holding serve, but it wasn’t long before the fan favorite Eubanks awoke a temporarily sleepy crowd.
After evening the set, he took Kwon to deuce and his slam at the net at 40-40 brought him to a point within a crucial break.
He capitalized immediately, taking a 2-1 set lead, and looked to have mostly regained his swagger for the rest of the set as he held serve for the match.
Eubanks will face Benjamin Bonzi next.