GUIA DE ISORA, January 21, 2024
Brandon Nakashima is the champion of the Tenerife Challenger 1. The No. 4 seed of the €120,950 ATP Challenger Tour hard-court tournament defeated second favourite Pedro Martinez of Spain 6-3, 6-4 in the singles final.
In excellent conditions on an almost cloud-free sunny Sunday with temperatures above the 20-degree Celsius mark in Guia de Isora, Nakashima was the dominant of the two players. With two early breaks in both sets, the 22-year-old set the tone early and eventually secured victory in just over an hour and a half.
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“I was able to play my best tennis in the important moments. I got off to a good start in both sets,” explained Nakashima the key to success. The Californian started the season in Australia but lost twice to Czech Jakub Mensik: first at the Challenger in Canberra and then again in the Australian Open qualifying.
The long journey to Tenerife paid off. “Every time you come away with a title it’s a good feeling and there will still be some time to celebrate with my time. But it’s a quick turnaround for a tennis player, competing in a tournament next week. So I will be focused on that one.
“I will be staying in Europe for the next weeks, playing some indoor Challengers in Belgium and Germany. Let’s see how that goes but I am happy being able to win this week.”
The World No. 127 earned €16,550 in prize money and valuable 100 ATP Ranking points with his fourth career triumph on the ATP Challenger Tour.
The San Diego native, who celebrated his first ATP Tour title in his hometown two years ago, has been coached by former Roland-Garros finalist Mariano Puerta and Davide Sanguinetti since the end of last season and aims to return to the big stage of tennis soon.
“I just try to keep improving and building up the rankings, trying to get back to the ATP Tour level as quick as possible. I hope I can make a good run over the next couple of weeks.”
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Tenerife Challenger to be continued …
The Tenerife Challenger tournament series, consisting of three events this season, will continue from February 18 to March 3 on the beautiful tennis complex of the Abama Tennis Resort, overlooking the Atlantic through palm trees and a sprawling green area with an attached golf course.
“It’s beautiful here,” Nakashima, who was visiting the Canary Islands for the first time, also expressed his admiration for the scenery. “I hope to return here for vacation someday. But for now, the focus is on the upcoming tournaments.”