Arthur Kapetanakis | May 22, 2018
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May, USTA.com is celebrating up-and-coming Asian-American players who are looking to make their mark in tennis.
This week’s feature highlights 16-year-old Brandon Nakashima.
- Just last month, Nakashima scored the biggest win of his young career by claiming the International Spring Championships 18s trophy in Carson, Calif. His path to the title went through No. 1 Drew Baird, whom he defeated, 6-3, 6-0, in round three, and No. 2 Tristan Boyer, who he blitzed, 6-0, 6-0, in the final. Nakashima did not drop more than four games in any of his 12 sets played, including four 6-0 sets.
- The San Diego native competed in qualifying for the Indian Wells Masters in his home state this March. Despite a difficult draw against current world No. ADVERTISEMENT 88 Vasek Pospisil, Nakashima took the former world No. 25 to a tiebreak in set two before bowing out in front of a supportive crowd.
- Currently No. 50 in ITF World Junior Rankings, Nakashima achieved a career-high ranking of No. 40 in April after his ISC win. He holds a 13-2 singles record across three junior tournaments in 2018, with his only losses coming in the Easter Bowl quarterfinals and in the semis of Cost Rica's Coffee Bowl.
- Other junior highlights include a second-round appearance at the 2017 US Open – where he lost to eventual finalist Axel Geller of Argentina – and a 16s title at the 2017 USTA Boys’ National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich.
- Soon to be a high school senior, Nakashima hopes to play college tennis at one of California’s top Pac-12 schools, with UCLA, USC and Stanford University among his top choices. He has already made a good impression on UCLA head coach Billy Martin, who watched his ISC final victory in person.