© Kate Whitney Lucey/International Tennis Hall of Fame

Jenson Brooksby defeats Evgeny Donskoy to earn his first tour-level win on grass.

'Very Motivated' Brooksby Makes Successful Grass Debut In Newport

Former World No. 5 Anderson also advances

#NextGenATP American Jenson Brooksby's rise is showing no signs of slowing down. The 20-year-old defeated Russian veteran Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 6-3 on Monday to reach the second round at the Hall of Fame Open, a grass-court ATP 250 in Newport, Rhode Island.

World No. 152 Brooksby has won three ATP Challenger Tour titles this season and made the final at another. However, this was just his second tour-level win, and his first since beating Tomas Berdych in the first round of the 2019 US Open.

“I try to treat every match the same. But I want to prove that I can do the same things at all the ATP Tour events as I’ve done at the Challengers so far,” Brooksby said. “I’m very motivated to prove myself and for everybody to see how well I can do here. I’m pushing for that.” 

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Brooksby will face a stiff challenge in the next round against countryman Denis Kudla, who eliminated 2018 champion Steve Johnson 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4.

Kudla is a grass-court stalwart who qualified for Wimbledon and reached the third round, in which he tested eventual champion Novak Djokovic in a tight straight-sets defeat. Brooksby had never played a match on the surface until Monday, but he is confident his game will work well on the lawns.

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“I think grass can actually be the best surface for my game style. Not quite yet, I’ve only played one match, but I think in the future it could actually be the best surface for my style, how I train and how I play,” Brooksby said. “I’m excited to play some more on grass.”

Former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson, the 2018 Wimbledon finalist, made a good start to his week with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Ukrainian Illya Marchenko.

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The eighth-seeded wild card only lost three first-serve points (18/21) and saved all three break points he faced. The South African will next face Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner or Japan's Yasutaka Uchiyama. Another Japanese player, Yuichi Sugita, ousted Austrian Jurij Rodionov 7-5, 6-3.

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