Less than four months ago, Jenson Brooksby was outside the Top 200 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. But after a red-hot stretch, including runs to the Newport final and the Washington semi-finals, the #NextGenATP American on Monday cracked the Top 100 for the first time at World No. 97.
“I’m excited. It seems like a cliche answer, but I know I have the game to do it and I’m glad obviously I’ve done it in a short period of time,” Brooksby told ATPTour.com. “Let’s see how high I can push it.”
Brooksby has picked up high marks from some of the sport’s greatest minds. Former World No. 1 Andy Murray on Friday tweeted his praise for the 20-year-old.
Brooksby was excited to hear about Murray’s tweet. “I think that’s very accurate. Obviously that’s great to hear from Andy,” he said in a press conference in Washington. “He’s been one of the best in the sport and a great guy to look up to. That means a lot. Those are great words coming from him.”
The Californian is an unorthodox disrupter on the court. The American rarely misses and finds ways to put the ball in uncomfortable positions for his opponent, much like Murray and Daniil Medvedev do. He also has a two-handed backhand slice and is unafraid of mixing in drop shots or net rushes if necessary.
Frances Tiafoe described his countryman’s game style well after losing to Brooksby in Washington.
“[He] is super unorthodox. Obviously everything he does is pretty strange,” Tiafoe said. “[He] puts you in awkward positions, makes you play an extra ball, has great anticipation of the ball. [He] is really solid, makes you play a lot.”
Playing Brooksby? Get Ready For A Battle…
Brooksby, who is an intense competitor, enjoys putting his opponents in those difficult positions and frustrating them.
“I really do. I’m sure a lot of people may think of it as, ‘Oh, someone had a bad day or something,’” Brooksby said. “But in my mind, that’s the result of my game doing the right things, exposing their weaknesses.”
Brooksby, who received a wild card into his first ATP Masters 1000 event at this week’s National Bank Open Presented by Rogers, has turned his unique game and competitive spirit into a lot of winning in 2021. In addition to his recent ATP Tour success, the American has claimed his first three ATP Challenger Tour titles this season.
“I really believe this is my level, and it’s not too surprising for me,” Brooksby said. “Obviously I’m happy that I have been able to do it consistently most weeks, and that’s [moreso] that my mental toughness has improved more than anything.”
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Photo Credit: Andrew Eichenholz/ATP Tour
Although Brooksby is happy to crack the Top 100, he has no intention of stopping here. The #NextGenATP star is keen to continue pushing forward.
“Hopefully I’ll have a lot more firsts out there. I believe I will,” Brooksby said. “I’m just excited to keep playing and keep learning.”