ATP

Hometown favourite Nakashima advances at San Diego Open

By Sports Desk September 28, 2021

Brandon Nakashima has been one of the ATP Tour's hottest players throughout the hardcourt season, and he kept rolling Monday before a hometown crowd. 

The 20-year-old Nakashima rallied to defeat Italian veteran Fabio Fognini 6-7(5), 6-1, 7-5 in the first round at the San Diego Open, setting up a second-round matchup with top seed Andrey Rublev. 

After qualifying for the main draw at Wimbledon earlier this summer, Nakashima reached finals at Los Cabos and Atlanta in successive weeks, falling to John Isner in the latter finale. He then knocked Isner out of the US Open in the first round in straight sets. 

Monday, he won 80 per cent of the points on his first serve, dialling up eight aces to just one for Fognini, who also double faulted 11 times. 

Another Southern California native, Taylor Fritz, also advanced Monday, beating qualifier Salvatore Caruso 6-4 7-6 (2) to earn a second-round meeting with fourth seed Denis Shapovalov.

It was a welcome reprieve for the world number 39, who had lost five of his previous six matches dating to a quarter-final win over Reilly Opelka in Atlanta. 

Earlier, world number 24 Aslan Karatsev opened the day's action by defeating Federico Delbonis 6-1 7-5. 

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    The 19-year-old lasted just 36 minutes when making her first grass-court appearance of the year at the Nottingham Open earlier this month, with a side strain the latest in a series of niggling injuries to befall Raducanu.

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    A series of coaches including Nigel Sears, Andrew Richardson and Torben Belts have left Raducanu's team since Wimbledon 2021, and Shriver thinks the 19-year-old's coaching merry-go-round has contributed to her challenging season, along with a lack of fitness.

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