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Tennis star Chris Eubanks ‘ready to get back on the court’ at US Open, practicing with Coco Gauff

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(NEW YORK) — Chris Eubanks has had a remarkable season on the world tennis stage, rising to popularity for his impressive Wimbledon debut, where he entered as the 77th-ranked player in the world and reached the quarterfinals.

“Honestly, I just want to roll the balls out and play — at the end of the day, I’m here because of what I can do on the court, so I’m ready to get back out there on the court,” Eubanks told Good Morning America ahead of the U.S. Open, which is being held this year from Aug. 28 to Sept. 10, with qualifying rounds running Aug. 22-25.

Currently ranked 30th in the world, Eubanks has worked hard to break into the top 100 and said “it’s safe to say this has probably been the best year of my career.”

“I’m able to take a step back now and just process everything and use that as motivation to kind of have a strong push for the end of year,” he continued.

Eubanks is predicted to be seeded 29th for the U.S. Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, where practice and qualifiers are currently being played.

The 27-year-old started from a young age and recalled having to swing his racket with two hands on both sides when he was 3 years old, because he “couldn’t lift the racket” at the time.

“Those are memories of my dad and I, we spent hours on the court,” he said. “To look back at how things have progressed starting from there to where I am now is remarkable.”

The next generation of American tennis stars, including 19-year-old Coco Gauff, have shown immense support for one another coming up in the professional circuit. Gauff was even seen in Eubanks’ player box as he had a breakthrough performance at Wimbledon.

“Her in particular, it’s meant the world,” Eubanks said of Gauff’s support. “She’s like a little sister to me, I’ve known Coco since she was about 6 or 7.”

“She’s always told me for years, ‘You’re good enough as those guys, you’ve just gotta believe it,"” he said. “For her to sit there and to watch the biggest win of my career in the fourth round of Wimbledon, watch my quarter-final beginning to end… it’s tough on tour to really be able to go out and support your friends. For her to come to multiple matches and support me means the world.”

The two practiced together at the U.S. Open grounds in Flushing, Queens, on Wednesday. As Eubanks said, “We always try to get one hit in at a tournament if we can.”

As he prepares for the palpable energy that the U.S. Open is known for and the support American players get so excited about, Eubanks said the “combination between the crowd and the play” is what he’s looking forward to most.

“I have always gotten great support at the Open. It’s always been my favorite tournament to come to as a spectator, to play in. It’s the first Grand Slam I ever played in. But something’s telling me this is gonna be a little bit different than any other U.S. Open I’ve been a part of,” he said. “The support that I’ve received just in practices at Arthur Ashe [Stadium] yesterday — the amount of fans and kids asking for autographs was pretty cool.”

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