Five Things To Know About Brandon Nakashima
Remember the name: Brandon Nakashima. The #NextGenATP American made the most of his ATP Tour debut at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com, scoring a straight-sets win on Monday over recent Pune champion Jiri Vesely.
ATPTour.com looks at five things to know about this talented 18-year-old.
1. He’s Moved On From College Tennis
Nakashima announced in December that he would turn pro and not return to the University of Virginia for his sophomore season. He earned ACC Rookie of the Year honours last year and posted a 17-5 record in singles.
2. He Excelled In Juniors
The young American concluded his junior tennis career at last year’s US Open, where he reached the boys’ singles semi-finals. Nakashima won the 2018 ITF Junior Masters title and peaked at No. 4 in the ITF Junior Rankings.
3. Other Players Are Taking Note
Nakashima might be new to professional tournaments, but his solid baseline game is already turning heads in the locker room. Fellow American Frances Tiafoe sung his praises after narrowly defeating him earlier this month at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Dallas.
"Watch out for this guy. This guy’s special,” Tiafoe said. “I like his game, I like his demeanour. Great backhand, good serve and he’s level-headed… I’m a fan, for sure.”
Last night, we were all witnesses as Brandon Nakashima introduced himself in Dallas.— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) February 7, 2020
The 18-year-old announced his arrival in grand fashion, in defeat to Frances Tiafoe. Poise and focus beyond his years... pic.twitter.com/ETaypdzxKg
4. He’s Soaring Up The FedEx ATP Rankings
The San Diego native began last September at No. 942 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. He now sits at a career-high of No. 290 after reaching the semi-finals at two ATP Challenger Tour events last year and winning an ITF Futures title last month. Nakashima has no points to defend for the next seven months and can only continue to climb.
5. Tennis Runs In His Family
Nakashima was introduced to the sport at age three by his grandfather, Anh, an avid recreational player. The pair started playing at public parks in San Diego and he immediately took to the sport. By age 11, Nakashima was diligently training for three hours each day.