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Meet San Diegan tennis star, Brandon Nakashima – East Village Occasions

Credit score: San Diego Open

In December of 2018, Brandon Nakashima graduated a semester early from Excessive Bluff Academy in Rancho Santa Fe in an try to play high-level tennis as shortly as potential.

Nakashima instantly discovered immense success, profitable ACC Freshman of the 12 months at Virginia earlier than turning skilled. He went from being a highschool senior to changing into a 17-year-old skilled tennis participant in eight months. He’s additionally the highest-ranked tennis participant from San Diego and one of many favorites for the San Diego Open on the finish of the month. 

Nakashima’s journey has been an unimaginable one, however the arduous grind of being knowledgeable participant is one thing that he has needed to adapt to.

He’ll be taking part in in his twentieth match of the yr, a career-high when the San Diego Open begins. “It’s tough with all of the touring, to new cities, taking part in new occasions, however I’ve actually loved all of it,” the younger tennis participant mentioned in an interview with EVT. Nakashima mentioned the truth that he was trying ahead to spending time with household and associates greater than the rest.

The tennis season hardly stops, because it begins on January 1. The ultimate matches shall be performed on November 28. Nakashima loved a uncommon week off in San Diego, cooling off from a third-round run within the US Open. His second-round win knocked off present world  No. 23 Grigor Dimitrov, earlier than falling in 4 units to Jannik Sinner. He’s taking part in a few of the greatest tennis of his profession however mentioned his highlights in a breakout 2021 season.

Nakashima’s profession began with success as he instantly made it to the quarterfinals of the Delray Seashore Open earlier than falling in three units to Yoshihito Nishioka. The speedy success re-affirmed Nakashima’s determination, “It was tremendous large for my confidence, understanding that I can compete with these guys,” he mentioned.  

Credit score: Tennis Time

After getting back from the worldwide quarantine, 2021 really proved to be Nakashima’s first yr on the middle stage.

The (then) 19-year-old Nakashima made back-to-back ATP finals, falling to Cameron Norris in Los Cabos, earlier than per week later taking place to John Isner in Atlanta. The robust fortnight moved Nakashima into the highest 100 gamers on the planet for the primary time, ending the yr a career-best 62nd on the planet.

The robust season meant that Nakashima was seeded fourth for the Subsequent Gen ATP Finals, which options gamers who’re 21 and youthful. He made it to the semifinals of the match, which helped him safe the ATP Newcomer of the 12 months award. When requested to choose between all of his highlights, the younger tennis participant deliberated for a second earlier than deciding, “These two ATP finals tournaments, that was such an excellent two weeks for me,” Nakashima said fortunately. 

Whereas 2022 has not seen any ATP finals for Nakashima, it has been a yr of success on the largest of levels. He superior to the third spherical in each the French and US Open whereas making a fourth-round run in Wimbledon. The San Diegan pushed eventual Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios to 5 units in an absolute thriller.

Credit score: Tennis Majors

The 2022 season actually has proven Nakashima’s potential to play on all surfaces, one thing that he says he enjoys. Nakashima admitted (that he felt) he performed his greatest on laborious courts. “I might say that it (laborious courts) is my favourite floor to play on. Clearly, it’s what I’ve grown up taking part in on, and I believe it’s considered one of my higher surfaces,” Nakashima instructed EVT. The San Diego Open, held at Barnes Tennis Middle, is a tough court docket, which ought to play into Nakashima’s strengths. All 5 of Nakashima’s ATP Futures or ITF Challenger match finals got here on laborious courts, in addition to each ATP Tour finals. 

Nakashima talked about particular person features of his sport as effectively, saying that his backhand is his greatest shot, in addition to the whole lot of the baseline sport. Nevertheless, the younger phenom additionally mentioned the significance of his serve, saying, “I’m a tough man to interrupt, and I take satisfaction in that.”

Clearly, taking part in on a tough court docket, the serve shall be important, so it’ll be essential that Nakashima is ready to be each highly effective and constant together with his serves.

When requested about his probabilities and expectations for the San Diego Open. “I undoubtedly have the sport and the precise mindset to win the match. Clearly, there are a variety of nice gamers within the match, and it gained’t be simple…, however hopefully, I’ll be capable to win my first ATP title in my dwelling metropolis,” Nakashima mentioned.

Brandon Nakashima is completely proper that he’s bought the expertise, and he’ll definitely be one to look at on the match in San Diego. 

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Sam Evans

Sam is a Senior in Excessive Faculty. He has been writing for two years, and began at EVT in June of 2021.

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