Christopher Eubanks, 27, paid tribute to Andy Roddick ahead of the 20th anniversary of the American tennis legend's 2003 US Open win. In 2003, Roddick won his first Grand Slam title after beating Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final at Flushing Meadows.
In the next couple of years, Roddick made four more Grand Slam finals and spent most of the time being the top-ranked American male tennis player. Eubanks, who broke into the top-100 for the first time in his April, is now enjoying a career-high ranking of No 29 in the world after making his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, the United States hasn't had a male Grand Slam champion since Roddick won the 2003 US Open. "But, I mean, I always remember Andy kind of being the bearer for American tennis for years and how he handled that so exceptionally well.
And then, obviously, James [Blake] was right there with him inside the top 10. Marty came along inside the top 10. Throughout those ups and downs, Andy was a really, really consistent player kind of holding that mantle as the No 1 American.
So I can remember that and I can remember the pride that he had in being the No 1 American," Eubanks said.
Eubanks used Roddick's racket
Eubanks admitted he doesn't really remember that well Roddick's 2003 US Open win. But Eubanks remembers that as a kid he used Roddick's racket.
"I do remember, though, I used Andy's racket, his Babolat Pure Drive, when I was young. And that was kind of the thing of, like, oh. It was probably one of the more popular rackets for juniors at that time. But I remember saying, 'Oh, if Roddick won the US Open with this, maybe I can play well with it too'
Other than that, I don't have many memories of that match," Eubanks said. It remains to be seen how well can Eubanks do at this year's US Open.