Nakashima Makes Winning Start In Native San Diego
Nakashima earned a 7-5, 7-6(5) win against 19-year-old wild card Zachary Svajda, his good friend who hails from the nearby town of La Jolla. Nakashima saved three set points at 4-5 in the second set and failed to serve out the match at 6-5, but battled back from 3/5 in the tie-break to escape in straight sets.
"It was a very tough match, right from the beginning," said the 21-year-old American, who surrendered a break advantage three times in the one-hour, 54-minute contest. "Zach is so talented out there, striking the ball really well. We're good friends off the court. We practise a lot together here in San Diego, so I knew it was going to be a tough match here today."
The World No. 69 was victorious in his first competitive match since a US Open third-round loss to Jannik Sinner, in which he won the opening set before bowing out in four. After breaking into the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Rakings in July, Nakashima could rise as high as No. 44 by claiming his first ATP Tour title this week.
The American is seeking to improve upon his seventh-place position in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan. He reached the semi-finals in the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals before a five-set loss to countryman Sebastian Korda.
Americans Denis Kudla and Mitchell Krueger also advanced in straight sets on Tuesday. Kudla defeated Spanish wild card Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3 to open the evening session while Krueger downed countryman and fellow qualifier Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 6-4 to start the day's play.
In doubles action, Marc-Andrea Huesler and Hunter Reese notched a 6-4, 6-4 win against Jonathan Eysseric and Artem Sitak on the stadium court, while the Brazilian team of Marcelo Demoliner and Marcelo Melo beat Max Schnur and John-Patrick Smith 6-3, 6-1 in the Grandstand.