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Eubanks secures top 100 spot, keeps rolling into Miami quarterfinals

It won’t be official until the ATP rankings come out next Monday, but Christopher Eubanks clinched a spot in the top 100 for the first time when he defeated Gregoire Barrere 6-3, 7-6(7) in round three of the Miami Masters 1000 on Monday.

The American was emotional on the court afterward and was in tears during his post-match press conference.

“Really good,” he started after being asked about how top-100 status feels, fighting the emotions. “Really good…. Really good.”

Since turning pro in 2017, Eubanks has mostly appeared on the Challenger circuit. Prior to arriving in Miami, the former Georgia Tech star was 11-28 lifetime at the ATP level. Although he is playing the best tennis of his life right now, even this year hasn’t been easy. He recently lost to 41-year-old Feliciano Lopez at the ATP 500 in Acapulco, where Lopez was playing the last tournament of his career and had not won an ATP match since 2021.

“The past few weeks have been really, really tough just because I’ve been kind of thinking about top 100 and everything,” Eubanks admitted. “I had some losses that I shouldn’t have [had] and I was really second-guessing a lot about my game and everything.”

There is no second-guessing now. Eubanks is back on the rise–to an extent he had never risen before. He currently stands at No. 119 and his career-high ranking is 102nd, but he was projected to reach No. 97 even if he lost to Adrian Mannarino on Tuesday. Well, he didn’t lose.

Top 100, here we come. And now top 90, too, after reaching the quarterfinals.

“It’s a benchmark,” Eubanks assured. “Every professional tennis player, it’s a big deal for them. It solidifies like, ‘hey, you’re a real pro.’ You’re an established pro.’ Out of everybody in the world that plays tennis at some point, in some week in the world, you were one of the best 100 tennis players in the world. IN THE WORLD. Like, there’s a lot of people that play tennis. A LOT of people. And it’s like, I’m sitting here as one of the top 100 best people to do it – one of the best players to do it right now. It feels good.”

It might have felt like it would never happen, either. Eubanks wasn’t one of the best juniors, wasn’t one of the best college players during his time at GT, and wasn’t one of the best pros–at least not best 100–in his first six years on tour.

Now he is.

“I just think back…it’s just weird; it’s like everything’s coming together,” the 26-year-old Atlanta native said. “Genuinely, I never really felt like…. Growing up I was never the best junior. I was never the best in my state really, or the best in my section; never was best in the nation, a lot of that stuff. But I just practiced and just worked and was just like, ‘whatever happens happens.’ I got a college scholarship; it was great. I said I wanted to play pro; didn’t know if I really meant it…. I knew I had the game to compete with top 100 guys. I didn’t know if I had the consistency to actually win enough matches to get there.

“Now I’m there. It’s crazy. It’s just wild.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.