Christopher Eubanks, 27, said if men’s tennis had “a black male like Serena Williams dominating the sport,” then for players like him , things will get easier. Williams is a former 23-time Grand Slam champion who inspired an entire generation of black WTA players.
Most notably, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and world No. 6 Corey Gauff have repeatedly praised Williams for showing them it was possible to become a highly successful black player in women’s tennis. “It gave me the ability to see that it was possible.
Because it’s hard for kids to truly believe they can be something if they don’t see anyone who looks like them doing it. It’s a hard thing to get kids to accept and say, “You can do this,” but when you watch TV, you don’t see anyone who looks like you do it.
I think on the men’s side, we haven’t had a black male dominate the sport like Serena. But I think now that we have more people on board, little black boys can turn on the TV and watch one of our games and say, ‘Hey, maybe I want to do that.
Maybe I don’t want to play basketball. Maybe I want to try tennis,” Eubanks told The Guardian.
Eubanks wants men’s tennis to have ‘black men like Williams’
Also speaking to The Guardian , Eubanks revealed that Jameer Jenkins – a former tennis pro and Williams’ hitting partner – was his “first role model”. In high school, Eubanks started going to Donald Young’s tennis facility.
In 2011, when Eubanks was still in high school, Young, the former world No. 38, asked him if he would be his occasional sparring partner on tour. Eubanks continued to receive help from Young over the next few years. Eventually, Eubanks achieved her dream of becoming a professional tennis player.
This year, Eubanks won his first ATP title in Mallorca, reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinals at Wimbledon and achieved a career-high world ranking of 29th.