wins 2018 ITF Junior Masters
Arthur Kapetanakis | October 31, 2018
Brandon Nakashima is now the top-ranked American junior boy for the first time, after winning the most prestigious title of his young career at the ITF Junior Masters in Chengdu, China.
The San Diego native moved ahead of Sebastian Korda, the former junior world No. 1 who declined an invitation the year-end event, with the victory, and now sits at a career-high No. 5 in the ITF World Junior Rankings.
Similar to the ATP and WTA Finals, the ITF Junior Masters invites the world’s top juniors to an eight-player tournament for a chance to conclude their season by competing in round-robin and knockout play against the year's top players.
After topping his round-robin group with a 2-1 record, Nakashima defeated Bulgarian Adrian Andreev, 7-6, 6-3, to book a final showdown against junior world No. ADVERTISEMENT 1 Chun Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei. Facing the reigning junior French Open and junior Wimbledon champ in Sunday’s championship match, Nakashima dominated, handing Tseng his only loss of the tournament with a 6-2, 6-1 result.
“I feel great. I’m so proud of the way I played today,” Nakashima told ITF.com after the match. “It’s been a long week, with a lot of great players and I’m so happy to come out on top. It’s definitely the highlight of my year.”
The Chengdu trophy is Nakashima’s third junior title of 2018 in nine tournaments. He won the International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif., in April without dropping a set, and was also victorious at the Junior International Roehampton in Great Britain, in July. In addition, he reached the quarterfinals in the boys' competition at both the French Open and the US Open.
At the professional level, Nakashima entered four ITF Futures events on the year, highlighted by his first professional title at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Laguna, Niguel, Calif., in September. He also scored a qualifying win at the US Open, as he reached the second round of the men’s play-in draw.