Nakashima beats Fognini in 3 at the San Diego Open
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Hometown kid Brandon Nakashima returned after being led by a set and then a breakdown in third to beat Fabio Fognini 6-7 (5), 6-1, 7-5 in first tour of the San Diego Open Monday evening.
Nakashima, 20, who is ranked 83rd in his career and received a wild-card entry, was born in San Diego and is still based there. This was his first tour-level game in his home state and it took place in a hard-court tournament that was created this year to help fill a gap in the ATP schedule created. when the post-US Open tour in Asia was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
Also on Monday, Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev beat Federico Delbonis 6-1, 7-5, extending Delbonis’ hard court losing streak to 10 matches. Taylor Fritz faced qualifier Salvatore Caruso in the last game of the evening.
After breaking for the only time in the entire match as he fell 2-0 down in the final set, Nakashima has won three games in a row thanks to a more aggressive style, including pushing towards the net when there were openings.
He was also helped by unstable serve from Fognini, 34, a former Top 10 player now ranked 31st who committed 11 double faults.
Nakashima, who beat John Isner in the first round of the US Open last month, had a total of 14 break points on Monday, converting five.
He held a pair of match points at 5-4 in the third, but failed each time. Nakashima made his third chance count, however, breaking to end matters when Fognini put a forehand into the net.
Next for Nakashima will be favorite Andrey Rublev, who helped Team Europe win the Laver Cup this weekend and secured a first-round pass in San Diego.
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