Brooksby, 20, of California, to play Italian Sinner, 19, in Washington


WASHINGTON (AP) – Jenson Brooksby wasn’t even supposed to play in the Citi Open. Now the child is in the last square of their first ATP 500 event.

Brooksby beat 11th seed of Australia, John Millman, 6-1, 6-2 in just 67 minutes on Friday in the hard court tournament, making the 20-year-old from Sacramento, Calif., The semi-finalist on Friday. lower ranked in Washington since John Isner in 2007.

“I’m not surprising myself… (and) now people know what to expect, in general. But, I mean, I think I always surprise them, ”said Brooksby, who started the year outside the top 300, started the week at No.130 after reaching the grass final in Newport, Rhode. Island last month and now is ready to enter the top 100. “But, I mean, in myself, I know it’s very doable, and I’m glad I made it up to here.”

He hasn’t lost a set thanks to four wins – three against seeded opponents, including No.2 Felix Auger-Aliassime and No.16 Frances Tiafoe, and another against double Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson .

No less than a tennis authority Andy Murray took note of Brooksby’s progress. The three-time major champion and former No.1 tweeted: “Jenson Brooksby is the kind of player I love to watch”, praising his “variety” and “high tennis IQ”.

Next is another seeded opponent, and even younger: number 5 Jannik Sinner, a 19-year-old Italian who beat American Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-2.

The other semi will be 2015 champion Kei Nishikori against Mackie McDonald, who has never reached an ATP final.

Nishikori, the 2014 US Open finalist, qualified Friday night with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over No.14 seed Lloyd Harris, before McDonald’s defeated Denis Kudla 6-3, 6 -2.

Anderson and Kudla originally received generic entries in Washington; Rafael Nadal, 20-time Grand Slam champion, the seed who lost to Harris on Thursday night, was another recipient.

So Brooksby was in Lexington, Ky., Competing on the lower level Challenger Tour last week when he found out that other strikeouts allowed Anderson and Kudla to move into the category through their rankings, thus releasing a last minute savage. invitation card.

Brooksby took a flight to the Nation’s Capital and displayed a game that has a bit of it all – reflex feedback, top notch backhand, drop shots, enhanced serve – backed by a confident approach.

He likes to say that his greatest strength is having no weaknesses.

“I came motivated and ready to fight here and show my level consistently as always,” he said. “I am delighted to continue to prove my level and to continue to participate in competitions. “

It was the second time the American faced Millman, who beat 17-year-old Brooksby in straight sets in the first round of the 2018 US Open. Millman would beat Roger Federer en route to the quarter-finals.

“I’m a late grower so mostly I think I’ve improved a lot physically,” said 6-foot-4 Brooksby, describing himself as “just a little guy” in that opener against Millman. “Now I think my game just got better. I have become stronger mentally and definitely more physical. So it’s definitely a different ball game for me in general now than it was a few years ago.

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