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Wimbledon 2023: Eubanks upsets Norrie for 'biggest win of career'

Arthur Kapetanakis | July 07, 2023


Christopher Eubanks extended his dream Wimbledon debut on Friday with a stirring upset of British No. 1 Cameron Norrie at the All England Club. The American scored a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(3) victory against the 12th seed and returning semifinalist to advance to the third round at a major for the first time.

 

Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys were also winners Friday on the London lawns, with the fourth-seeded Pegula through to the fourth round and the 25th-seeded Keys into Round 3.

 

Eubanks ran his winning streak to seven matches on the heels of lifting his first ATP Tour title last week on the grass courts of Mallorca. The 27-year-old broke into the ATP's Top 50 for the first time behind that trophy run, and is now projected to rise into the Top 40 after knocking off Norrie.

"Biggest win of my career, no question, by far," the Atlanta native said in his post-match press conference. "Considering the moment, considering the stage, who I was playing, where I played him. By far the biggest win of my career."

 

The charismatic Eubanks even enjoyed his fair share of crowd support, despite facing a home favorite.

 

"Obviously I think the vast majority of the crowd out there today was supporting Cam, rightfully so," he said.

 

"But if I was able to attract a few more fans, a few more Brits to want to back me the rest of this Wimbledon and on after that, I'd really, really appreciate it, man. This has been extremely special. That was an extremely special match for me."

 

Next up for the American and his new fans is a Saturday matchup against unseeded Australian Christopher O'Connell. Beyond that, fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas looms as a potential fourth-round opponent.

Photo by Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images.

Zooming out beyond this week at Wimbledon, Eubanks also reflected on his role as Black tennis player in adding to the diversity of tennis, particularly in the U.S.

 

"There have been many trailblazers before me that played an even bigger role," he said. "There's no secret when you see the amount of diversity, especially on the women's side coming up post-Venus and Serena. It's no secret that you see so many girls who are able to look up and see the most successful athlete of all time who looks like them and wanting to get into tennis. It's no secret there has been probably more diversity on the women's side.

 

"But I think on the men's side, we're coming up on a really, really good time," he continued, crediting trailblazers like James Blake, Mal Washington and Rodney Harmon for setting the stage. "A lot of us are just piggybacking off of that between Donald Young, Scoville Jenkins. Now you've got Frances [Tiafoe], [Michael] Mmoh, myself, Ben Shelton. Bryan Shelton obviously played a huge part.

 

"I think things are just kind of starting to trend in the right direction, especially for people of color. The more of us that are out there, the more we can hopefully inspire little kids to say, 'Hey, maybe I should give tennis a try.' "

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images.

Eubanks joins 10th seed Tiafoe and 16th seed Tommy Paul, who both won on Thursday, to make it three Americans in the Wimbledon third round—all in the top half of the draw. All three are scheduled to take the court on Saturday, with Tiafoe facing 21st seed Grigor Dimitrov and Paul meeting Jiri Lehecka.

 

In women's singles, Keys also progressed to the third round with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Viktorija Golubic on Friday. It was the 350th WTA-level win for the American.

 

Like Eubanks, Keys also won a grass title last weekend, in Eastbourne, and is now on a seven-match winning streak. She has not lost a set in any of those seven victories.

 

"Really happy with how things went today," said Keys, who improved to 2-3 in her head-to-head against the Swiss. "I haven't had the best results against her, so it was obviously a tough match. Very happy to be in the third round."

Keys will next face Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk on Saturday as she bids to return to the Wimbledon fourth round for the fourth time. Her best result on the London lawns is a quarterfinal run in 2015.

 

Pegula is already through to the fourth round, courtesy of a 6-4, 6-0 win against Italy's Elisabetta Cocciaretto on Friday. After edging fellow American Lauren Davis in three sets on Monday in the opening round, Pegula picked up two dominant wins in as many days to secure her best Wimbledon result in four appearances.

 

Following a rest day, she will return to the court to face Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko on Sunday.

 

For more from Wimbledon, including Saturday's full order of play, visit the tournament's official website.

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