Christopher Eubanks in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2023, UK
Christopher Eubanks in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2023, UK | (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2023 | Day Eight Talking Points: Christopher Eubanks reveals advice from Gauff and Osaka, Djokovic calls for earlier starts

By Tony Fairbairn At Wimbledon

  • Christopher Eubanks has revealed the advice he was given by Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka after knocking out Stefanos Tsitsipas
  • Novak Djokovic has called for earlier starts at Wimbledon after reaching the quarter-finals
  • Ons Jabeur looks ahead to Rybakina rematch as Mirra Andreeva takes positives from Wimbledon run
LONDON, ENGLAND – Christopher Eubanks has revealed the advice he was given by Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka after reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final while Novak Djokovic calls for earlier starts at Wimbledon on day eight.


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Christopher Eubanks takes inspiration from Gauff and Osaka

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Our day eight talking points start with the incredible story of Christopher Eubanks who before the season started was outside the world’s top 100. However fast forward six months and Eubanks is now into his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon and on the verge of a place in the top 30 in the world.

The American came through in five sets against Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the last eight and admitted that it has been a ‘whirlwind’ experience and talked about what lessons he has learned on grass.

“I just think the entire experience all together has just been a whirlwind,” Eubanks said after one of the best wins of his career.

“It’s been something that you dream about. But I think for me I didn’t really know if that dream would actually come true. I’m sitting here in it now, so it’s pretty cool.

“Biggest lesson? I guess that I like grass. Yeah, it’s been a bit of a blur, if I’m being honest. Like between finishing Mallorca, the final on Saturday afternoon, then getting here Sunday at 2 or 3 a.m., there still hasn’t been that window of time to kind of process everything. It’s just been, like I said earlier, just focusing on the next match. When I finished Mallorca, I knew I played Thiago Monteiro first round. That’s where my focus shifts.

“Then after that I move on to the next match. That’s where my focus is. It just continued to go on from there. I haven’t had the time to really kind of sit back and look and think about what has changed or, like you said, lessons I’ve learned. I’m sure I’ll have time for it. Right now it’s been, Oh, I finished this match, who’s next? I didn’t really check the draw that much.”

It’s been a crazy season for Eubanks who is now riding on a wave of momentum and will look to continue his progression in the quarter-finals. Eubanks also spoke about the advice that Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka have given the American and credits them for him believing more in his tennis.

“I think the biggest thing, it’s a common theme amongst both of them, they’ve been saying for a long time that they feel like I belong at this level,” Eubanks stated.

“For a long time I questioned, again, whether or not I was consistent enough to play at this level really consistently. I knew I could come out on any match and maybe light it up, could cause some guys some trouble. I don’t know if I really believed I could put it together match after match after match against quality opponents. That’s something Coco has been telling me for a long time. Naomi even says the same thing.

“That’s kind of been the main thing of just reinforcing and instilling confidence. Hey, you can play at this level, you just got to believe it. When I’m around them, to hear them talk about their belief, it’s a bit infectious. It does rub off on you. When they talk about their goals or what they feel when they go on court, I feel a little bit like the odd man out because I’m like, You guys are mentally different than I am. You guys are so much more, like, locked in and confident when you step on the court.

“I think it’s slowly starting to rub off on me where when I step foot on the court, Hey, I can play at this level, I belong at this level. I just have to go out there and actually believe it. Be okay with giving it everything I have. Whatever the result is it is.”

The advice is definitely working as he prepares for a first Grand Slam quarter-final when he takes on Daniil MedvedevThe third seed was two sets up before Jiri Lehecka retired during their match on No.1 Court and Medvedev spoke about when he started to believe he could win Grand Slam titles.

“Since I became maybe top 10, especially since the final against Rafa in US Open 2019, that’s the first time where I was like, Okay, that’s actually possible to go far in slams,” Medvedev revealed.

“Because I think before US Open I was never in quarters. That year US Open I made final in five sets against Rafa. I was like, Now I’m know I’m able to do anything. So I always believe in myself. I always want to win these tournaments. Wimbledon was not that successful for me. But now it’s already the best result of my career here. I don’t want to stop. I’m playing great. I’m looking forward to next matches and I want to try to win for sure.”



Djokovic calls for earlier start times after Wimbledon win

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Next up it’s about the defending champion Novak Djokovic who completed his two day victory on Centre Court against Hubert HurkaczHowever after taking a two set lead heading into today, Djokovic did drop his first set of the tournament before wrapping up a four set win.

Speaking after the match Djokovic praised Hurkacz’s performance and admitted the match could have gone a different way.

“I thought maybe that could be my chance to start reading his serve a bit better. That wasn’t the case. He was serving incredibly well,” Djokovic said in praise of the Pole.

“I don’t recall being so helpless on the return games, to be honest. I knew that he’s a big server and he’s a fantastic player on the grass particularly, but I didn’t expect him to serve this well and this accurate. Credit to him. It was a very, very close match. It could have gone a different way.

“He had his chances, particularly in the first set tiebreaker. Yeah, in the important moments, particularly in the fourth, I managed to read his serve, make that break that was the key to success.”

Djokovic lives to survive another day as he continues his bid for a record-equalling eight Wimbledon title. The Serb also spoke about his match going into a second day as a lot has been made about the late starts and finishes after rain has held the schedule back.

After his match the 23-time Grand Slam champion admitted that changing the curfew is challenging but earlier start times should be implemented.

“I think so. I agree with that,” Djokovic said about the idea of starting matches on Centre Court earlier.

“Obviously curfew is probably something that is much more difficult to change, I understand, because of the community and the residential area we are in. I think the matches could be pushed at least to start at 12:00. I think it would make a difference.

“Wimbledon has been so attached, I would say connected, with its tradition and history in not changing certain things, which I respect a lot. I think they’re wonderful things to keep with history, like the defending champion going out on the first day. Even though it was nice for us to get a chance in the last couple of years to practice on the Centre Court before the tournament starts, I have to say I’m not a fan of that.

“I would rather have no practice at all on the Centre Court before the tournament starts. I think that would help the court. It also is the most sensitive surface we have in the sport. So you can feel the grass wearing out even after few practice sessions already, getting the beating from the sliding and running and so forth. I think there are different ways that I’m sure they will address this issue and try to, yeah, avoid having these kind of problems in the future.”

It will be interesting to see if Wimbledon review their policy ahead of next year’s tournament. As for Djokovic though another Wimbledon quarter-final awaits on Tuesday when he takes on Andrey Rublev.

Previewing the match Djokovic says he will need to be wary of the seventh seed as Rublev is motivated to reach his maiden Grand Slam semi-final.

“He’s one of the most consistent players on all surfaces. I have lots of respect for him,” Djokovic explained.

“I was surprised that he has actually never reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam, which obviously will serve as a motivation more for him tomorrow to be inspired and play his best tennis. Yeah, let’s see what happens.

“I’m going to have to prepare myself tactically differently for Rublev than I have for Hurkacz. Doesn’t have as powerful a serve as Hurkacz does, but he definitely has quicker hands, just very powerful game from the baseline. Yeah, I’ll hope to recover and be as fresh as I possibly can be tomorrow.”


Jabeur talks Rybakina rematch as Andreeva takes positives from Wimbledon run

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Last year’s finalist Ons Jabeur is preparing herself for a Wimbledon rematch with Elena Rybakina after thrashing Petra Kvitova in the fourth round. The Tunisian only dropped three games against the former champion as she gets set for a rematch with the Kazakh.

This was the match from last year’s final which Rybakina won and Jabeur admitted after her win over Kvitova that last year was a painful experience.

“I think the first one or two weeks I thought about it a lot. It was very painful,” Jabeur recalled.

“The good thing about it is I know I gave it everything. I’m someone that believes that it wasn’t meant to be, so I cannot force it more than it should be. I’m glad that I have this belief. I believe in destiny. It wasn’t supposed to be that year. Maybe greater things are coming after that final.

“Definitely will learn a lot from it. Obviously the next match is completely different. It’s a quarterfinal. It’s a completely different position. I’m going to do my best. The most important thing that I give 100% and I try not to regret anything.”

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Finally, 16 year-old sensation Mirra Andreeva’s run came to an end after a three set defeat to Madison KeysAndreeva was a set and a break up before the Eastbourne champion powered her way to victory.

However it’s been a positive tournament from Andreeva who reflected on her achievement at SW19.

“Well, it’s a lot of positives to take from this week,” Andreeva explained.

“Obviously it’s my first time on grass. I kind of didn’t expect to go that far in Wimbledon because first time on grass, I had no experience at all. I passed quallies. It gave me a lot of confidence. It’s a good experience for me, for sure. I hope that next year I will do better here. We will see if I really can.”

Now Andreeva looks to recharge her batteries as she aims for a place at this year’s US Open.

“After this tournament for sure I will take some days off just to relax and not to play tennis,” Andreeva admitted.

“I don’t want to play tennis for a few days, for sure. After I will be back on clay and I will play Lausanne, WTA 250. I will play there. After I think I’ll play US Open.”



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