WASHINGTON – Jenson Brooksby found himself hardly in an ideal position in the first set of the first round of the Citi Open against Kevin Anderson with a large serve: He was in the tiebreaker behind the two-time Grand Slam runner-up.
Brooksby, a 20-year-old American who lost to Anderson in the final of another ATP tournament two weeks ago, turned things around, took the last six points of that set on Monday and defeated Anderson 7-6 (4). 6-3 in hard court tuning for the US Open.
“Playing it recently this time definitely helped me because my coach gave me some better strategies this time around compared to the first time, as well as on returning on other things and it worked pretty well,” said Brooksby , who finished ranked outside the top 300 in 2020, but now in 130th place.
“I was just frustrated with myself. I made several wrong decisions in a row on the points,” said Brooksby about the 4-1 deficit in the tie-break.
“I knew I could make a comeback in the ‘break’ and then I kind of carried it on in the second,” he said, “so I was proud of it.”
That night, 2014 US Open finalist and 2015 Washington Champion Kei Nishikori advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Sam Querrey.
Nishikori, who had a quarter-finals for Japan at the Tokyo Olympics, broke Querrey three times while going 5 to 5 at the breakpoints he faced.
Brooksby hit a target on serve 6-5 on Monday, but Anderson shot a backhand into the net.
Then Anderson’s 113 mph ace – one of his 11 aces on the 80 degree afternoon – gave him that significant advantage in the tiebreaker. But the 35-year-old South African, who finished runner-up in Washington in 2017, wouldn’t get another point in that set.
Brooksby used dropshots to score a few points and was helped by a few misses from Anderson, including an uncorrected error on a backhand that ended a 14-stroke swap to end the set.
On July 18, Anderson defeated Brooksby in straight sets to win a turf title in Newport, Rhode Island.
Anderson was classified up to 5th place and was a finalist at the US Open 2017, lost to Rafael Nadal and in 2018 at Wimbledon to Novak Djokovic. Anderson is currently 75.
Brooksby saved both breakpoints he faced and earned the game’s only break in the penultimate game.
On Tuesday evening, in the light of the main stadium of the Citi Open, he will meet the 16th-placed Frances Tiafoe, a native of Maryland.
Another Californian, Marcos Giron, kept coming back – he dropped the first set, then was behind in each of the next two – until he took a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1) win over the qualifier Illya Marchenko.
“I just had to take a deep breath, think about what I had to do and change my strategy a bit. Once I got used to the match, I thought I could adjust to the game pretty well there.” Second and again in the third, “said Giron, who is next up against number 7 seeded Cameron Norrie.” When I was down in the third set, I knew that I had come back in the previous set and could do it again. “
In other results from day 1, Andreas Seppi achieved a matchup against Felix Auger-Aliassime, who was in second place, by defeating Yusatka Uchiyama with 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Daniel Elahi Galan eliminated Tommy Paul with 6-4 , 6-3 and Ricardas Berankis defeated qualifiers Mitchell Krueger 7-6 (4), 6-2.