Brandon Nakashima starts with victory in native San Diego | ATP circuit

Playing at the San Diego Open for the second time, hometown favorite Brandon Nakashima won an American #NextGenATP battle on Tuesday night at the Barnes Tennis Center.

Nakashima won 7-5, 7-6(5) against 19-year-old wild card Zachary Svajda, his good friend who hails from nearby La Jolla. Nakashima saved three set points at 4-5 in the second set and failed to serve the match at 6-5, but fought 3/5 in the tiebreak to escape in straight sets.

“It was a very difficult game from the start,” said the 21-year-old, who lost his counterattack advantage three times in the hour-and-54-minute game. “Zach is so talented out there, hitting the ball so well. We’re good friends off the court. We trained a lot together here in San Diego, so I knew it was going to be a tough game here today.”

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The world number 69 was victorious in his first competitive match since his US Open third-round loss to Jannik Sinner, in which he won the first set before being eliminated in four. After breaking into the Pepperstone ATP Rakings Top 50 in July, Nakashima could climb to number 44 as he clinches his first ATP Tour title this week.

He made it to the second round on his San Diego debut a year ago, earning a three-set win against Fabio Fognini before losing to Andrey Rublev at the ATP 250.

The American is looking to improve his seventh-place position in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan. He reached the semifinals at the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, before a five-set loss to compatriot Sebastian Korda.

Americans Denis Kudla and Mitchell Krueger also advanced in straight sets on Tuesday. Kudla defeated Spanish wildcard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3 to open the evening session, while Krueger defeated fellow countryman and qualifier Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 6-4 to start the day’s game.

Japan’s Taro Daniel denied the United States a clean sweep in Tuesday’s four singles matches with a 6-4, 6-3 win against qualifier Emilio Nava.

In the doubles action, Marc-Andrea Huesler and Hunter Reese made it 6-4 and 6-4 against Jonathan Eysseric and Artem Sitak on the stadium court, while the Brazilians Marcelo Demoliner and Marcelo Melo beat Max Schnur and John-Patrick Smith 6- 3, 6-1 in the stands.

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