Eubanks Stuns Defending Champion Johnson In Newport
American Christopher Eubanks knocked out defending champion Steve Johnson 7-6(9), 7-6(5) at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport on Tuesday. The 23-year-old wild card, No 188 in the ATP Rankings, hit 15 aces and was clutch in the tie-breaks to earn one of the biggest wins of his ATP Tour career.
“I think I served extremely well, especially in the times I needed to,” said Eubanks. “I started off being down a break and then I really found a good rhythm, so the serve definitely propelled me to victory today.
“Anytime you get a win at tour-level, you’ve got to come out here and play really well. Especially [winning] in the U.S. it’s always super special, so it feels really good. I’m really excited.”
Eubanks, who improved to 2-3 at tour-level on the season, will next meet Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.
American Denis Kudla, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the second round of Wimbledon, squeaked past eighth seed Bradley Klahn 6-4, 7-6(5). Kudla will next face 2017 finalist (l. to Isner) Matthew Ebden of Australia. Ebden overcame a mid-match dip against New York Open finalist Brayden Schnur of Canada to advance 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.
Indian qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan, the 2018 finalist (l. to Johnson), beat Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-2 and will face fourth seed Ugo Humbert of France in the second round. Humbert posted his best Grand Slam result yet at Wimbledon, making the fourth round before losing to eventual champion Djokovic.
Seventh seed Alexander Bublik edged Australian qualifier Alex Bolt 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5) in one hour and 59 minutes, and next meets another qualifier, Viktor Troicki, a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 winner over Jason Jung. In the final match of the day, German veteran Mischa Zverev beat American qualifier Tim Smyczek 6-4, 7-6(4) to setup a second-round meeting against Argentine Guido Andreozzi, who beat 2016 champion Ivo Karlovic on Monday.