San Diego, Calif. – (June 2, 2015) – The USTA National Open Hard Court Championships has been a showcase for young players who have gone on to compete at the highest levels of the game. Jack Sock, a Wimbledon doubles champion, won the tournament title here in 2010 and CoCo Vandeweghe, ranked as high as No. 32 in the world, was a semifinalist in 2007.
This year, a star of the future could be making his mark at the tournament. On a cool, breezy afternoon, 13-year-old Brandon Nakashima faced fellow San Diegan Jared Thompkins, a tall, hard-hitting 19-year-old, in a third-round match at the Balboa Tennis Club.
Nakashima, who ended 2014 as the top-ranked player in the country in the Boys’ 14s, played a solid baseline game from start to finish and patiently waited for the left-handed Thompkins to commit errors. In the end, he advanced to the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
“Once I got the first-set, I got my groove going. I played pretty well. I just kept getting the ball back to him consistently, and I eventually pulled through,” said the soft-spoken Nakashima.
Reaching the fourth round of the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships has been a big surprise for Nakashima, who had no expectations when he entered the tournament. “I didn’t expect to go this far. I’m pretty happy, and I’ll just keep going with my matches,” he added.
Nakashima, who is unseeded, will play his fourth-round match at 11 a.m. (PDT) on Thursday against ninth-seeded Rae Lan of San Diego.
Third-seeded Emmanuel Mensah of Imperial Beach, Calif., also moved into the fourth round as he defeated Christopher Dalton of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., 6-3, 6-1. The 26-year-old Mensah, a native of Ghana, has represented his country in Davis Cup, most recently in 2013.
Players in the men’s main singles draw will get a well-deserved day off and will play their fourth round matches on Thursday. Women’s first-round matches will highlight Wednesday’s schedule.
Alexandra Valenstein of Laguna Hills, Calif., the women’s top seed, received a first-round bye and will play her opening match on Thursday. The 18-year-old Valenstein has been competing in International Tennis Federation (ITF) and USTA Pro Circuit events this year. She will play collegiate tennis at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, this fall.
Complete scores and results as well as updated draws for all divisions can be found at:
The winners of each division will be awarded a USTA gold ball, while the runner-up will be awarded a USTA silver ball. There will also be a 3rd/4th place playoff for the USTA bronze ball. All draws will have consolation events.
Matches will begin at 9 a.m. (PDT) each day of the tournament. The semifinals will be played on Saturday, June 6. The schedule on Sunday, June 7 will feature the women’s singles final at 9 a.m. (PDT), followed by the men’s singles final, not before 11 a.m. (PDT). Admission for spectators is free and open to the public. On-site parking is free.
Fans attending the tournament can dine at the Hidden Gem Café at Balboa Park, a new eatery located at the Balboa Tennis Club. The café offers breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, drinks and more. The Café will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PDT) during the National Open Hard Court Championships.
Former tournament champions include current American star Jack Sock and former touring tennis professionals Gretchen Magers, Rosalyn Nideffer and Allison Bradshaw. The tournament was voted, “2011 Tournament of the Year” by the San Diego District Tennis Association