B-Nak, Virginia, Federer : 11 questions about Brandon Nakashima

Former junior world No 3 Brandon Nakashima is one of the NextGen stars on the ATP Tour. Here are responses to some common questions you might have about the American

5 August 2021
Brandon Nakashima - Washington 2021

Who is Brandon Nakashima?

Brandon Nakashima is a professional tennis player and one of the most promising newcomers on the ATP tour in 2021, with back-to-back finals during the summer hardcourt season. He was born on August 3, 2001, which makes him 20 years old. Brandon goes by the nickname of ‘B-Nak’.

Which country is Brandon Nakashima from?

Nakashima represents the United States. He was born and still resides in San Diego, California. Brandon’s mother grew up in Vietnam and moved to California at the age of five while his father is of Japanese ancestry but was born in California.

Brandon, who also has a younger brother Bryce, says the best advice he ever received were from his parents, “Work hard and stay the course and good things will happen.”

Was he a good junior?

Nakashima reached a career-high ITF junior combined ranking of No. 3 in December 2018. His biggest title came at the  ITF Junior Masters in October 2018, where he defeated top-ranked junior Tseng Chun-hsin in the final. He also reached the semi-final of the US Open boys singles event in 2019 – his final season on the junior circuit.

Which college did Nakashima go to?

Brandon enrolled at the University of Virginia when he was 17 years old and was named 2019 ACC Freshman of the Year before turning pro. According to the ATP Tour website, Nakashima speaks of his college experience quite fondly. “Going to college helped a lot,” said Nakashima. “The atmosphere was incredible and maturing there was important.”

What is Nakashima’s highest career ranking?

The American’s career-high ranking is No 89, achieved for the first time on August 2, 2021. You can find his current ranking and ranking history on his ATP Tour profile page.

How many ATP finals has he in his career?

Nakashima reached his first ATP Tour singles finals at Los Cabos in July 2021, where he was beaten by Britain’s Cameron Norrie. The following week, he reached the final at the Atlanta Open, where he was defeated by John Isner. He has won two ATP Challenger tour titles and two ITF World Tour titles thus far in his career.

How much prize money has he won in his career?

As of early August 2021, his total career prize money is $426,944. More than half of that has come in 2021 itself. You can find his updated prize money statistics on his ATP profile page.

What is his best performance at a Grand Slam event?

Nakashima has played in the main draw of two Grand Slam events so far. He reached the second round of the 2020 US Open, where he received a wild card in his maiden Grand Slam appearance. In 2021, he qualified for Wimbledon and was defeated in the first round by Taylor Fritz.

What is Nakashima’s style of play?

As our fellow writer Chris Oddo describes in this feature, Nakashima has “a versatile, well-balanced game, backed by a plus serve and return, and the even-keeled temperament of a player five or 10 years older.”

Who are Brandon Nakashima’s idols?

Nakashima says his idol is Roger Federer, but he claims to play more like Novak Djokovic. In an interview to the ATP Tour website, Nakashima says, “My dream doubles partner would probably be Roger Federer, just because he’s a legend of the sport and it would be a real honour to play with him.”

After practicing with Djokovic in 2020, Nakashima spoke about his admiration for the Serb as well. “The biggest thing I’ve learned from practicing from Novak Djokovic would probably be just the way he goes about everything. It’s how he’s super-focused, pays attention to all the little details both on the court when he’s practising and during the matches as well.”

Is Brandon Nakashima on social media?

Nakashima is on Instagram where he has more than 8,500 followers.

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