Aug. 3, 2016
ATLANTA — After dropping the first set 6-3, Georgia Tech men’s tennis rising junior Christopher Eubanks rallied with his doubles partner Zack Kennedy to defeat Thiago Monteiro (Brazil) and Yoshihito Nishioka (Japan) 3-6, 7-6, 10-8 in the first round of doubles play in the BB&T Atlanta Open on Tuesday night. The Georgia natives will play in the second round.
“It was pretty up and down both physically and emotionally, but we got through it,” said Eubanks following the grueling match. “I don’t think we played our best in the first set. We didn’t really execute. In the second set we said alright let’s hold on to the serve and make them play more balls.”
The game plan seemed to work as Eubanks and Kennedy took an early 4-1 lead in the second set. Monteiro and Nishioka edged their way back into it, forcing the set to a tiebreaker. But the two local competitors had the crowd on their side on college night and used that energy to take the tiebreaker and the set. The duo followed the thrilling second set with a win in the third, claiming the match victory.
“I think the crowd that we had come out for college night made a huge difference for us,” said Eubanks. “It actually resembled a college match and we were excited to get out there and get some type of win on college night.”
Eubanks looks forward to some well-deserved rest after playing four straight days of matches since Saturday. He competed in the singles qualifying rounds over the weekend and faced Reilly Opelka in a long match on Monday night in the singles main draw.
“I played a lot of tennis the last couple days so I’m pretty excited to take a day off tomorrow,” said Eubanks. “We are going to try to get a nice practice in and then get right back at it again.”