Brandon Nakashima wins first ATP singles title in San Diego
Third time's the charm: In his third appearance in an ATP singles final, 21-year-old American Brandon Nakashima captured his first career tour-level title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over fellow American Marcos Giron at the San Diego Open, an ATP 250 event.
Having finished as runner-up in both Los Cabos, Mexico and Atlanta last year, San Diego native Nakashima's coronation at the Barnes Tennis Center was made doubly special at his hometown event.
"It feels like a dream out here," Nakashima said after the match, having been cheered on by a healthy contingent of family and friends.
"My first ATP title in my hometown. To be able to capture my first title here, it's unbelievable. Amazing atmosphere out here tonight, and I just really want to say thank you for coming out and showing your support."
It was a fitting final for an event that boasted 13 Americans in the singles field when play began, and a personal milestone was guaranteed, no matter the winner: Nakashima's fellow Southern Californian Giron, 29, was contesting his first-ever ATP singles final.
Road to the Championship - Brandon Nakashima
R1: def. (WC) Zachary Svajda (USA) - 7-5, 7-6(5)
R2: def. Denis Kudla (USA) - 6-3, 6-4
QF: def. Daniel Galan (COL) - 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
SF: def. Christopher O'Connell (AUS) - 6-4, 7-6(3)
F: def. (3) Marcos Giron (USA) 6-4, 6-4
The 84-minute final was as tight as the scoreboard suggested, and it was Nakashima's serve that ultimately made the difference. He never faced a break point in the opening set, and sealed what was the deciding break of Giron's serve at 2-2. At the same point in the second set, but this time after the pair traded breaks, Nakashima again took control: The younger of the two Americans won eight straight points to re-establish a lead, and won 12 of 13 points on his serve to ultimately close out the match.
"No matter the score out here today, I always knew there were going to be some tough moments," Nakashima said, calling Giron "a great friend." "I knew it wasn't going to come easy. I had to battle for every game. At the beginning of the second set, [there were] a couple of tight games. I lost my serve, but I think I regrouped pretty well in the next game. [I was] happy to close it out on my serve."
With the victory, Nakashima will rise 21 places to No. 48 in Monday's ATP rankings, a new career-high. For his efforts, which also included a semifinal victory over No. 1 seed Dan Evans of Great Britain, Giron will move up five places to No. 53—four spots off the career-high he set in May.
Nakashima is the fourth different American man to win a title on the tour this year, and San Diego's championship match marked the fourth all-American ATP singles final in 2022.
In doubles, Americans prevailed, too: No. 2 seeds Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow defeated unseeded Australians Jason Kubler and Luke Saville, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 for their first title as a pair. It's Lammons' first ATP title of any kind and Withrow's second; he previously triumphed at the Delray Beach Open with Jack Sock in 2018.
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