|Posted on August 26, 2019 at 1:35 PM|
Tomas Berdych in action against Jenson Brooksby of the United States during their first round match on day one of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Court No. 13 on Monday, August 26, 2019, in New York City, United States. Brooksby won 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Jenson Brooksby defeats Tomas Berdych in Round 1 of the 2019 US Open
WHAT HAPPENED: In front of a packed, boisterous crowd on Court 13, Jenson Brooksby, the lone American male qualifier in the draw, shocked former world No. 4 Tomas Berdych in Round 1 of the US Open by a score of 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
On paper, this matchup appeared one-sided. But 18-year-old Sacramento native Brooksby, the world No. 394, is brimming with confidence after qualifying for the tournament and capturing two back-to-back ITF tournaments over the summer. Meanwhile Berdych, a US Open semifinalist in 2012, has struggled with injuries for much of the last two seasons. In the first set, this appeared to be the case. Brooksby came out firing, hitting his targets with precision and breaking Berdych in the first game. Berdych struggled with his movement and could not find the court in the early exchanges, and the American quickly wrapped up the first set in a tidy 25 minutes.
The second set offered a bit of a role reversal. Berdych began to step in on the return and take more advantage of Brooksby’s second serve. At the same time, Brooksby seemed intent on pulling the trigger too early at times, leading to more unforced errors. Berdych took advantage and broke Brooksby twice, leveling the match at one set apiece.
The opponents stayed even with each other through much of the final two sets. But Brooksby played better at critical moments, using his powerful strokes and backhand down the line to frustrate Berdych. Brooksby broke the Czech at 4-5 in both sets 3 and 4, which resulted in his first main draw US Open victory.
WHAT IT MEANS: Brooksby, a US Open junior semifinalist in 2018, received a wild card into the qualifying round; he becomes the second-ever qualifying wild card to win a main draw match at the US Open, after Bradley Klahn in 2012. He next faces No. 17 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, who overcame a tough five-set test from Hungarian Marton Fucsovics to advance to the second round.
MATCH POINT: Brooksby hit 45 winners to just 30 errors, and he won a staggering 44% of his receiving points. Can the American maintain his form and continue his dream run?