Jenson Brooksby named 2021
ATP Newcomer of the Year
Victoria Chiesa | December 16, 2021
On the back of rising nearly 250 places in the ATP rankings in 2021, Sacramento's Jenson Brooksby is the ATP Newcomer of the Year. Brooksby is the third American since 2000 to win the award, joining Taylor Fritz (2016) and Andy Roddick (2001).
The 21-year-old skyrocketed to a career-high world No. 56 in the year-end rankings after beginning 2021 outside the Top 300, thanks in part to three ATP Challenger titles and a summer surge of tour-level results. Most notably, he reached the fourth round of the US Open as a wild card, where he took a set before losing to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, reached his first ATP singles final in Newport, R.I. during the US Open Series, and advanced to two other semifinals in Washington, D.C. and Antwerp.
"I'm extremely grateful to win the ATP Newcomer of the Year award," Brooksby said in a video message to fans. ADVERTISEMENT "Thank you to all the players who voted for me. It means a lot. It was definitely a fun season... I'm excited for the 2022 season."
With wins over Evgeny Donskoy, Denis Kudla, Peter Gojowczyk and No. 7 seed Jordan Thompson in Newport, Brooksby became the second-youngest player to reach the final in the 45-year history of the tournament before losing out to former US Open finalist Kevin Anderson.
“I know what it takes to win titles and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to. I want to win titles next year," Brooksby told the ATP in a season-ending interview. "That’s the ultimate goal and I believe the process that I’m doing will see me through to those results that I want.”
In all, he earned six victories over Top 50 players in 2021, with his best win coming over then-world No. 15 Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round of the Citi Open. In New York, Brooksby defeated Taylor Fritz and Aslan Karatsev in the second and third rounds before losing to Djokovic under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. He also made his French Open debut in May, successfully qualifying after coming from a set down in the second and final rounds.
"It's definitely all positive things to take away," Brooksby said of his run at the year's final Grand Slam. "I learned my game. I'm feeling really confident in my game. I believe I can compete with anybody."
Brooksby was one of two Americans to claim a season-ending honor, joining Comeback Player of the Year Mackenzie McDonald. He won the award over four other rising stars, Sebastian Baez, Juan Manuel Cerundolo, Hugo Gaston and Brandon Nakashima.
"Shout out to Mackie for winning the Comeback Player of the Year award," Brooksby said. "You deserve it."