Game, Set, Altitude: Two Incredible Serves at 1,815 Meters - Let's Bring Tie Breaks!


Game, Set, Altitude: Two Incredible Serves at 1,815 Meters – Let’s Bring Tie Breaks!

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Leon Challenger: Serving Up High-Altitude Tennis Thrills at 1,815 Meters Above Sea Level

Situated at a breathtaking altitude of 1,815 meters above sea level, the Leon Challenger is a tennis event like no other, known for providing one of the fastest playing conditions on the Challenger Tour. The thin air at this altitude results in the ball zipping across the court at remarkable speeds.

Five years ago, spectators witnessed an exhilarating match between Chris Eubanks and Tobias Simon, a clash of giant servers that culminated in two thrilling tiebreaks, all in just an hour and 25 minutes of intense tennis. Eubanks, hailing from the United States, secured victory with a score of 7-6, 7-6, after a fierce battle.

The feat of completing two tiebreaks in such a short time is a testament to the players’ exceptional skills. It demands a high number of service winners and rapid exchanges, with most points lasting no more than five strokes. Additionally, fast and fluid gameplay, with few deuces or break opportunities leading up to the tiebreaks, greatly contributes to this achievement.

Eubanks and Simon wasted no time between serves, keeping their preparations brief and maintaining a rapid, flowing rhythm. Eubanks outperformed Simon, earning ten more points, securing a winning start to the match.

During this captivating encounter in Leon in 2018, both competitors fired an impressive 79 service winners, effectively ending rallies in nearly half of the points played. The match also witnessed 13 double faults and continuous attempts to wrap up the rallies as swiftly as possible. Eubanks managed to gain a slight edge in shorter and more advanced exchanges, ultimately claiming victory in straight sets.

Crucially, Eubanks seized control in pivotal moments, defending against a set point in the first-set tiebreak and dictating play in the second tiebreak with an early mini-break. An astounding 88.7% of the points were decided within the first four strokes, primarily through service winners or successful first groundstrokes.

Eubanks and Simon heavily relied on their serves and forehands, but the audience was treated to occasional slices and volleys, adding to the excitement. Only 18 points extended beyond the fourth shot, with just one exchange reaching nine strokes. The abundance of service winners, 79 to be exact, was the primary reason for the match’s brevity, despite the two tiebreaks.

Despite the high-speed nature of the match, there were six deuce situations, and the returners managed to claim at least two points in 11 games. This underlines the remarkable achievement of wrapping up the match in just 85 minutes. The first set featured three deuces and no break points. Eubanks, displaying remarkable tenacity, denied a set point at 5-6 in the tiebreak, winning three consecutive points and establishing an early advantage.

In the second set, Eubanks broke in the fourth game, taking a 4-2 lead. However, he faced some adversity, squandering three game points in the eighth game, allowing Tobias to level the score at 4-4. The players delivered solid serving performances in the final four games, eventually leading to the second tiebreak.

Eubanks once again seized an early mini-break and impressively won all the points following his initial serve, securing a well-deserved victory. This enthralling contest left spectators in awe of the players’ skill, precision, and determination in the high-altitude setting of the Leon Challenger.


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