Nakashima Advances, Brooksby Stunned in San Diego Open Quarterfinals

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

#5 Brandon Nakashima def. Daniel Galan (6-3) (4-6) (6-4)

San Diego’s Brandon Nakashima handled his business to make his way past Daniel Galan and into the semifinals of the San Diego Open.

He set the tone early, breaking Galan in the very first game of the match. The San Diegan traded punches with the Colombian, as each held serve until the set was at 5-3, with neither facing a break point. Nakashima managed to pull off another break to end the first set, before picking up right where he left off in the second set.

He broke Galan at the first time of asking, prompting chants of “Nak-a-shi-ma” from the hometown crowd. However, Galan roared back to life, winning five of the next six games, breaking Nakashima twice in the process. Galan finished off the set with a strong backhand to send the match to a decisive third set. The third set was extremely cagey, as each player held serve until the score reached 5-4, with Nakashima leading.

Galan and Nakashima split the first four points, but Nakashima put together a pair of lovely forehand winners to send himself to the semi-finals. The San Diegan took advantage of his chances very well, going 4-for-4 on break points. He said that when he was facing break point chances, “I just tried to tell myself, get the return in, get it deep middle.”. He’ll take on Christopher O’Connell in his first ever ATP semifinal on Saturday.

Christopher O’Connell def. #2 Jenson Brooksby (6-4) (4-6) (7-5)

Christopher O’Connell advanced to his first ever ATP semi-final with a stunning win over second seeded Jenson Brooksby.

O’Connell saved two match points in the third set, before breaking Brooksby twice in two games to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 7-5 winner. O’Connell had 14 aces in the match, eight of which came in a strong first set. “I’ve been serving well all week,” said O’Connell. He had far more chances than Brooksby, going 4-for-17 on break points, compared to 3-for-8 for Brooksby.

After the match he said that, “I wasn’t taking my chances. When he {Brooksby} served for it {the match} I took my chances.”. It was one of the finest performances of O’Connell’s career, and he thoroughly earned his place in the quarterfinal. He’ll take on Brandon Nakashima in the semi-final on Saturday.

#1 Dan Evans def. Constant Lestienne (6-1) (6-3)

Top seeded Dan Evans looked like he was in control throughout what he described as a “very awkward” match. Evans broke Lestienne five times over the course of the match, while being broken just once.

Lestienne did put Evans under pressure, as the Brit was forced to face 11 break point, but Evans saved 10 of them. Evans ran away with the first set, and with a 4-1 lead it looked as if he might do the same in the second.

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

However, Lestienne held serve, before breaking Evans to put some intrigue into the set. The crowd began to roar for Lestienne after the break, but Evans discussed his ability to stop Lestienne’s momentum, saying, “I was just taking each point as it came. You can’t look too far forward, but you can’t look too far back either.”. Focusing on one point at a time, Evans answered back with a break of his own, before serving out the match to secure his place in the semi-finals. 

#3 Marcos Girón def. #7 James Duckworth (7-6) (6-3)

Marcos Girón moved within touching distance of his first career ATP final with a win over James Duckworth. The first set was highly competitive, as both players failed to secure set points.

Girón led 5-4 while serving for the set, but Duckworth broke him while fending off a set point in the process. Duckworth had two set points while leading 6-5, but Girón rallied to send the set to a decisive tiebreaker, which he won 7-5. The second set was much simpler, as Girón broke Duckworth in his first service game, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the process.


The two held serve for the final six games, as neither player was able to force a break point. Duckworth struggled on his first serve, making just 43 percent of them, while Girón took advantage of his opportunities well. He went 3-for-3 on break points to Duckworth’s 2-for-8. Post-match, Giron talked about how, “Being clinical in those moments is key.”. Giron’s ability to be clinical was the difference in the match, which sends Girón on to face top seeded Dan Evans.

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Sam Evans
Sam is a Senior in High School. He has been writing for three years, and started at EVT in June of 2021.

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