One of the most famous lines in movie history came from actor Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump when he said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”
On Monday at Wimbledon, these words rang true as the draws continued to play out.
Raise your hand if you had Christopher Eubanks in the quarterfinals before the start of the tournament.
What a great story – the story of the tournament thus far. One year ago, Christopher Eubanks was ranked world no. 163. Today, his real-time ranking is 31st in the world. This, after a 5-set win against 5th- seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“I feel like I’m living a dream right now, this is absolutely insane,” said Eubanks. “It’s surreal, it’s unbelievable.”
The Atlanta native who played collegiately at Georgia Tech, has navigated past the likes of Cam Norrie and now Tsitsipas and will next face 3rd-seeded Daniil Medvedev.
It may feel like a dream for the 27-year-old but what a great reality for a player who has grinded it out on the Challenger circuit for much of his career, and at times questioned his tennis career. Eubanks admitted that he began to do some tennis television commentary just in case his tennis career floundered. It appears he may have to put that career on hold for a while longer.
The future’s so bright
The band Timbuk 3 once had a hit song, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.”
Yes, you may sense a theme in this recap, but this quote could easily apply to Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune. These two 20-year-olds will square off in the quarterfinals after each advanced on Monday. Alcaraz defeated Matteo Berrettini 3-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 while Rune took care of Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images
Alcaraz (the one seed) and Rune (the 6th seed) have played each other twice splitting the two matches. But beyond this quarterfinal, if you are looking for a fun and spirited rivalry post the “big three”, this just might be it. Neither player lacks in confidence, both are livewires on the court, and each can easily capture the crowd. This just might be the rivalry tennis needs as the great Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic eventually fade. This will be their first meeting at a slam, but we can only hope it is the first of many.
A heavyweight brawl
On Monday, both Madison Keys and Aryna Sabalenka advanced setting up a slugfest on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
Keys defeated Mirra Andreeva 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 while Sabalenka took care of Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 6-0. This sets up a match against two of the hardest hitters on the tour. Don’t look for a lot of finesse in Wednesday’s quarterfinal match.
These two players have split their two previous head-to-head matches, but it was Keys who defeated Sabalenka on grass in Berlin in 2021.
Keys was a bit fortunate to win her round-of-16 match while Sabalenka cruised. Regardless, there should be fireworks in their quarterfinal as both players will pound the ball from the baseline.