When the Oracle Challenger Series, Chicago kicks off at the XS Tennis Village in just a few days, several players should feel right at home in the Windy City. Evan King, Donald Young Jr., Caroline Dolehide and Christopher Eubanks each have ties to Chicago that are sure to make them crowd favorites when qualifying action gets underway Sunday.
You don’t have to look far to see that the 26-year-old has a love for the Windy City that runs deep. Just check out his Twitter profile, where both his handle (@EvanKingChicago) and his bio (#Chicago) give a shout out to his hometown. Growing up in a golden era of American tennis with Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Michael Chang dominating on Tour, King was coached by his father Van, who sought out other African American tennis players such as Donald Young Sr. to show his young son a path forward in the sport.
King, like all true Chicagoans, roots for the Chicago Bulls, Bears and Blackhawks, in addition to his alma mater, the University of Michigan Wolverines. In Ann Arbor, King was named an ITA All-American three times (2011-2013), as well as Big Ten Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2013. King is currently ranked World No. 237 and boasts 21 Futures doubles titles to go along with one ATP Challenger Tour doubles title (2016, Monterrey).
19-year-old Caroline Dolehide has had a year of firsts. In March, she received a wild card into the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, her first Premier Mandatory level and first time on one of the largest stages in tennis. At what is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious stops on Tour, Dolehide promptly won two matches (d. Shelby Rogers, Dominika Cibulkova) and even took a set off World No. 1 Simona Halep. She followed that up a few months later with a win at Roland Garros to record her first career Grand Slam victory. And next week, she’ll take the court on her home turf in the first WTA Tour-level event to be held in Chicago since the 1990s.
Dolehide attended Hinsdale Central High School before opting for home-schooling to complete her education.
Though born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Eubanks is tied to Chicago via Donald Young Sr. and Jr. When the Youngs moved to Atlanta and opened their tennis academy, Eubanks was one of their first pupils, training alongside Donald Jr. who was already a professional at the time.
Eubanks played tennis at the collegiate level for three seasons for Georgia Tech before turning professional with the assistance of the Oracle US Tennis Award, an annual grant given to a collegiate tennis player looking to break into the professional ranks.
Eubanks’ career highlight on the ATP World Tour came in 2017, where he beat Taylor Fritz and Jared Donaldson en route to the quarterfinals at the BB&T Atlanta Open. The performance earned him a main draw wild card into the 2017 US Open.