In the last two seasons, Brandon Nakashima won the opening match of Indian Wells, but only stopped in the second round. In the reunion with John Isner on March 8, the 21-year-old tennis player saved a set-point in the first set of tie-breaks, before overwhelming his senior in the next set.
Actively playing back deep below the end line, Nakashima effectively neutralized the powerful serves that were Isner’s forte. Nakashima thus won 56% of the second serve (15/27) and succeeded in 13 out of 14 nets, after an hour and 39 minutes of play.
Isner, who finished third on the ATP Tour this season in direct serve with 196 aces over eight games, made seven double errors and scored 30 winners all game, including 14 aces. This is the 37-year-old’s third defeat after four matches against juniors, including the last one at the US Open 2021.
Nakashima, the champion of the Next Gen ATP Finals 2022, arrives at Indian Wells with a single win across three tournaments this season. Last season, he won 35 of his 58 appearances.
In the next second round, Nakashima will have his first meeting with fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, who is on a 14-match winning streak and won all three of the last ATP tournaments.
Elsewhere, Ugo Humbert defeated Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-2, 7-6(6), and Ilya Ivashka beat Roman Safiullin 6-4, 6-2.
On the same day, the players who won the match after two sets also included Marcos Giron and Oscar Otte. Giron beat compatriot Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3, 7-5, while Laslo Djere received a 3-6, 5-7 defeat to Otte.