Brandon Nakashima: the #NextGenATP American with Italian ambition | ATP go to
Seven months in the past, Brandon Nakashima was invited to spend per week coaching with Novak Djokovic forward of the 2020 US Open. The 19-year-old made headlines earlier within the yr as extra younger quarter-finalist of the Delray Seaside Open since Kei Nishikori in 2008.
Nakashima’s week with the world No.1 gave the San Diego native an perception into how the top-ranked participant within the FedEx ATP rankings skilled and ready for one of many largest occasions in sport. It additionally gave him the boldness increase he wanted to take his sport to new heights.
“I used to be coaching with Djokovic the week earlier than the beginning of the US Open. It was nice spending time with him on the pitch, ”stated Nakashima. “Clearly he is an excellent particular person and such a prime tennis participant. It is nice to study from him, to see how he operates when he is on the coaching floor and the way skilled he’s… It positively gave me some confidence that I may hang around with one of the best participant on this planet. world proper now. It was actually an ideal expertise for me.
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Shortly after his coaching block with the 18-time Grand Slam champion, Nakashima claimed his first Grand Slam victory in New York. The world No. 145 has since constructed on this success and gained the primary two ATP Challenger Tour titles of his profession. Nakashima gained the second of those crowns at his final occasion in Quimper, France.
“It was two nice weeks for me. We weren’t certain if I used to be going to play or not due to the journey restrictions points. It was an extended journey to get there, however I am glad we did there, ”stated Nakashima. “Ultimately, it went very well for me. I felt actually snug and thought I performed at a extremely excessive stage each weeks.
Nakashima will increase his confidence at his subsequent occasions. Two-time champion Challenger, who’s at the moment within the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC qualifying draw, recovered from a set in three consecutive matches to achieve the ultimate in Quimper, the place he beat Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-3 , 6- 4.
“It actually provides me a variety of confidence enjoying these matches in three units, particularly from a set. It exhibits how stable my psychological sport is and the way good I problem-solve, ”stated Nakashima. “It positively gave me a variety of confidence all through the match and I knew if I misplaced the primary set I’d all the time have an excellent probability to come back again and win it within the third set. It positively helps for future tournaments.
Nakashima’s season began with a primary spherical loss within the Australian Open qualifying occasion in Doha, however that loss didn’t result in disappointment. Each Nakashima and his coach have been happy with the extent he delivered to the pitch in his 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-2 loss. The defeat was additional mitigated by the success of the person who beat him that day: eventual Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev.
“My coach and I believed it was very excessive stage tennis on our half,” stated Nakashima. “I bear in mind my coach saying after dropping that sport that he would qualify and achieve success in the principle draw. We each weren’t anticipating him to advance to the semi-finals, however I am certain he was enjoying with a variety of confidence. I used to be actually, actually pleased for him, nevertheless it was a extremely good sport for each of us.
Nakashima’s success in Quimper capped two memorable weeks for Individuals #NextGenATP within the French metropolis. Per week earlier, Sebastian Korda had additionally gained his second Challenger title in Quimper, as the town hosted back-to-back Challenger occasions. Korda (No.4) and Nakashima (No.7) are at the moment in a qualifying place for this yr’s ATP Subsequent Gen Finals in Milan.
“I do know one other American, Sebastian Korda, is within the operating,” Nakashima stated. “He had a superb begin to the yr by successful the [first Quimper title] and in addition make the ultimate [in Delray Beach]. We weren’t actually speaking about qualifying for the match, nevertheless it’s clearly on our minds once we play all of those occasions.
Brandon Nakashima and Sebastian Korda performed two crew doubles occasions in 2020. “/>
Brandon Nakashima and Sebastian Korda competed in two crew doubles occasions final yr.
The duo will not be alone of their success in Challenger 2021. Three Individuals #NextGenATP have already gained Challenger stage trophies this yr. Jenson Brooksby lately turned the third member of the group by amassing the title Potchefstroom. Nakashima is proud to be part of his nation’s success this season, however he’s eager to proceed to goal for larger objectives sooner or later.
“It is actually nice to be a part of [this American success]. It is good to see the Individuals, particularly the youthful ones, doing effectively in these Challengers and enhancing their video games to compete within the ATP Tour occasions, ”stated Nakashima. “I believe for me there may be nonetheless a variety of progress to be made, a variety of progress for my sport, nevertheless it’s good to see my fellow Individuals doing effectively. Hope we can have good battles with one another sooner or later. “
Nakashima, Korda and Brooksby will all attempt to be a part of an unique group of Individuals to advance to the ATP Subsequent Gen Finals. Within the first three editions of the match from 2017 to 2019, three Individuals certified for the 21 and below occasion: Frances Tiafoe (2018-19), Taylor Fritz (2018) and Jared Donaldson (2017).
“It could imply so much to me to qualify for this occasion,” stated Nakashima. “It is clearly a very well organized match, as I’ve seen it previously. All one of the best younger gamers are in it, so it will be an actual honor to qualify there and compete with all these prime guys who’re about my age.
As a fan, Nakashima watched earlier editions of the Subsequent Gen ATP Finals. The 6’1 ”right-hander is hoping for the possibility to expertise the match’s distinctive scoring format and make his mark on the match this yr.
“I’ve seen the match for the previous few years. I clearly watched among the highlights from former gamers. It looks like a extremely cool and effectively organized occasion, ”stated Nakashima. “The format is a bit totally different from what we’re used to on the ATP Tour, however I believe it is a good suggestion and I believe it is going to be good for me to qualify there.”
Brandon Nakashima is a two-time ATP Challenger Tour champion. “/>
When Nakashima just isn’t on the pitch, he turns to different sports activities. The San Diego resident is an avid golfer and in addition enjoys supporting his native soccer and baseball groups. Regardless of shifting from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2017, Nakashima stays a staunch supporter of his house NFL crew: the Los Angeles Chargers.
“On my days off, I wish to play golf. I actually like spending time with mates and it is simply enjoyable and stress-free for me, ”stated Nakashima. “Throughout tournaments, I normally spend time watching TV exhibits and studying articles and books that I really like. I simply attempt to be a flexible particular person.
“I’ve all the time loved supporting the groups in my metropolis in soccer and baseball. I am nonetheless doing it proper now, although the Chargers have moved to Los Angeles. It is all the time good and enjoyable to go to the video games and have enjoyable there. “
Again on the tennis court docket, Nakashima’s predominant purpose this yr is to proceed to enhance and develop his sport. The world No.145 hopes these enhancements will assist him win an ATP Tour title and compete at a excessive stage within the final three Grand Slam occasions in 2021. If he manages to realize these objectives, he will likely be one of many predominant contenders to achieve. a primary look in Milan.
“[I am trying to improve] a little bit of every thing in my sport. Add a little bit of selection, develop my groundstrokes and serve to make it extra of a weapon, ”stated Nakashima. “[I am] simply making an attempt to be a flexible participant who will do effectively on all surfaces all year long.