The “zone” is possibly not a real thing for an athlete psychologically but don’t question whether Chris Eubanks this week at Wimbledon. Simply put, what Eubanks is doing with his serve at Wimbledon is not a natural thing. He’s never been as good. Few people have.
On Saturday versus Christopher O’Connell in the third round, Eubanks’ serve dominated the match. Eubanks is far from the perfect player. He just recently broke into the top 100 on the ATP tour and he isn’t a smooth mover on the court. But his game might be perfectly made for a grass court. And if he continues to serve as he has through three matches in the tournament, Eubanks could continue to make his surprisingly deep run.
Against O’Connell, Eubanks had 23 aces and won 66 of his 76 first serves. In fact, it’s a bit of a miracle he actually lost 10 points on his serve. I guess O’Connell was lucky enough on those, but not lucky enough to do much more.
Chris Eubanks and his serve may be changing Wimbledon 2023
But that’s partly the thing. O’Connell didn’t play poorly either. His problem was that when each set – yes, each set, as Chris Eubanks won 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 7-6(2) – went to a tie-breaker, Eubanks’ serve kept coming at him again and again. It was a truly unstoppable force.
Eubanks was broken just once, but he also broke O’Connell once. The match could have gotten either way as just a point here or there, or a lucky bounce just when O’Connell needed one, could have changed the course of the match.
But Eubanks is in the zone with his serve as much as Michael Jordan was in the NBA finals in game one in 1992 when he kept knocking down 3 after 3. Heck, Eubanks could even do the Jordan shrug at the end of one of his service games because even he can’t know the secret to what he is doing currently.
Eubanks has never played so well, or anything close to it, in a major as he is right now at Wimbledon. He needs to keep eating the same breakfast and getting the same amount of sleep or whatever else he might be doing differently than normal. Because right now as long as his serve remains the same, Chris Eubanks can beat anyone else at Wimbledon (other than Novak Djokovic, of course).