Mission Complete: Eubanks Disrupts, Frustrates, Entertains & Learns
“I’m more than okay with my effort today, how I gave it everything I had. It just didn't go my way. That's tennis. There's only one winner at every single tournament. You have to kind of take the good with the bad, take the positive lessons, learn how you can move [forward with] them,” Eubanks said.
“I think this week, these two or three weeks have been filled with positives. I didn't win today. I'm disappointed about it. It's unfortunate for me. But I think I showed a lot of positive signs that I can take moving forward, so I'm okay with that.”
The American’s story attracted attention throughout the world. Four months ago he had not yet broken into the world’s Top 100 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Suddenly he was three wins from claiming a major title. The weight of the moment hit him before facing Medvedev.
“It’s been like such a whirlwind of emotions and trying my best to kind of block everything out and just focus on the match,” Eubanks said. “But I think this morning it did kind of set in a little bit after I woke up, just realising that, ‘Man, I'm getting ready to play a Grand Slam quarter-final today.’ That's really, really cool.”
The 27-year-old explained that while he did spend five to 10 minutes taking in the moment, he quickly locked back in to run through his game plan in his mind and block out the rest.
“But I did have about five or 10 minutes this morning in which I sat back and said, 'Wow, so many people from all over the world have been supporting me throughout this run.' I woke up realising I had to play a Grand Slam quarter-final.”
There was not a lot that separated Eubanks from the semi-finals in his 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(4), 1-6 defeat. If Medvedev slipped for even a moment in the fourth-set tie-break, the former Georgia Tech standout could have capitalised and surged to victory. But Eubanks credited his opponent for raising his level when it mattered most.
“Daniil is one of the best players in the world, one of the toughest players to beat for a reason. I think he showcased that well. He played exceptionally well in clutch, fourth-set breaker. Played really, really well in the fifth. It's like his level elevated into the fifth where I had a little bit of a drop. He took control of the match from there,” Eubanks said. “All in all, I thought it was a very, very fun match to be a part of. A very, very entertaining match.
"Very pleased with how I played and how I fought back after losing the first set. [The] first Grand Slam quarter-final is never easy. Came out on the wrong end of it, but overall pretty pleased with the performance today.”
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
According to Eubanks, Medvedev stepped up on return, which put pressure on him. He gave all the credit to the former World No. 1 and did not feel his loss had to do with fatigue after playing a string of matches in Mallorca and The Championships.
“That's why he is who he is and that's why he's done the things that he's done in the sport,” Eubanks said. “You could look at maybe that last break, that last service game at 40/15, I went for two first serves. Probably want to have that back just to make him serve it out. All in all I don't think I would say fatigue really played a part.”
Eubanks will leave London with fans throughout the world after a memorable effort in his main draw debut. Although he was unable to claim the trophy, he earned plenty of confidence.
“I would say I definitely believe a lot more in my ability to contend with some of the best players in the world. It's tough to really know until you've played some of the best players in the world,” Eubanks said. “At this point I played Sinner, played Medvedev twice, played Tsitsipas, I played Casper, Holger French Open this year. I've played some of the best players in the world. I've seen how my game stacks up against them, how I can disrupt them, how I can frustrate them. Sorry, Norrie, as well, who has been Top 10.
“I think it just gives me added confidence in my ability that I know I can compete with some of the best players in the world, whereas maybe I didn't fully know or believe that before.”