Home News Nakashima Defeats Andrey Rublev in Barcelona Open First Round

Nakashima Defeats Andrey Rublev in Barcelona Open First Round

by GP
Brandon Nakashima

Brandon Nakashima has achieved a second Top Ten victory in his career and first time on clay, as he defeated Andrey Rublev 6 – 4, 7 – 6 in an upset win that sent Rubler out of the Barcelona Open. Unseeded number 87 ranked, American Brandon Nakashima has defeated number 8th ranked, number two seed Russian Andrey Rublev.

Rublev had won only a single match since his controversial disqualification in Dubai against Alexander Bublik and he had not lost any three consecutive matches on clay in three years. Yet, he was not able to overcome Nakashima’s serving performance. Nakashima won 80% (33/41) of the points after his first serve.  

Rublev made five double faults and forced only one break point in the match. Nakashima broke Rublev in the ninth game for 5 – 4 and then survived a breakpoint before serving out.

Rublev saved four second-set breakpoints but was defeated in the tie break. He repeatedly smashed his racket in anger on the ground before storming off the court.

After the match Nakashima stated, “I’m still out here competing as hard as I can”. while adding, ” I’m happy with getting my level back to where it was. Playing in front of these crowds and on this court was super special”.

Controversial Claims

Rublev, ranked as high as number 5 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which he received in September 2021, has reached the quarterfinals of all four majors.

In October 2020 Rublev broke into the top ten of the ATP Tour. He won a mixed doubles gold medal in the 2020 Summer Olympics with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and four ATP doubles titles, including the Masters 1000 title with Karen Khachanov at the 2023 Madrid Open.

Rublev comes from a long line of professional athletes and coaches. Rublev’s mother, Marina Marenko, is a tennis coach with the Spartak Tennis Club. She’s also the coach of Rublev’s older half-sister, professional tennis player Anna Arina Merenko.

Rubler credited his paternal grandparents for raising him during the week until the age of fifteen. There have been claims that Rublev’s first coach and mother was harsh towards him.

He has denied these claims stating, “She was definitely not harsh. My parents always did everything for me. They love me very much”.

Rising Star

Brandon Nakashima reached a career high ranking of 43 that was achieved October 17, 2022.  He also reached a career high doubles ranking of number 316 on the same day.

Nakashima has won one ATP singles title and the 2022 Next Generation ATP finals

During Nakashima’s professional career he, in February 2020, received a wildcard into the Delrey Beach Open, where he reached the quarterfinals.  Later the same year he drew the wildcard at the U.S. Open.  He defeated Paolo Lorenzi before being defeated by the eventual runner up, 5th seed, Alexander Zverev.

Written by Bonnie Kilgore

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