Nakashima and Brooksby

atatu

Legend
The amount of people in US player development that are going to be wanting to weigh in on Brooksby’s serve over the next year or two will be ridiculous. Hope he can listen to a small circle and tune the rest out. Like JMac said, his serve development may be what determines whether he’s a multi-GS champion down the line.
Yeah it will be interesting to see how that works out, wonder if Roddick really thinks he can fix it.
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
Watching live in Ashe stadium, Novak was clearly not at his best.

Brooksby’s serve was just bad, not at ATP level. ATP players and coaches will figure out his game very quickly. It is also easier to play the main draw as a wild card, different story if you have to qualify for it. The “mullet” made it to the 3rd round last year as a wild card but failed to qualify this year.
 

jrstrat

Rookie
The amount of people in US player development that are going to be wanting to weigh in on Brooksby’s serve over the next year or two will be ridiculous. Hope he can listen to a small circle and tune the rest out. Like JMac said, his serve development may be what determines whether he’s a multi-GS champion down the line.
Brooksby has had the same coach since he was 7 so I think he will have a good circle to trust. Brooksby serve has improved in the last 3 years but obviously it is still a major weakness. He also has a very week overhead on both sides. I heard he used to just roll the serve in when he played in the juniors. In the last 2 to 3 years he has gone from about 6'1 130 to 6'4.5" 175 so maybe his body strength still needs to catch up with the growth.

Djokovic had some really nice things to say in the post game interview about Brooksby's game and how hard he compete and how well he disguises his shots. Maybe I'm biased but I think that match had the most energy in the tournament (and first sell out) and I think Brooksby got a lot of fans from this tourney.
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
Watching live in Ashe stadium, Novak was clearly not at his best.

Brooksby’s serve was just bad, not at ATP level. ATP players and coaches will figure out his game very quickly. It is also easier to play the main draw as a wild card, different story if you have to qualify for it. The “mullet” made it to the 3rd round last year as a wild card but failed to qualify this year.
As I’ll continue to remind you every time he sets a new career high, you’re already Talk TW’s wrongest man re: Brooksby, so you may want to sit this one out

I’ll take my lumps re Wolf if he never has a career that approaches Kudla etc - you can take your lumps on Brooksby, having doubted he’d ever be top 100, which was clearly nonsense

it’s frankly hilarious that you think watching matches live means you have some special spider sense re player development - might be news to you, but plenty of us on these boards see these guys in person - I’ve missed attending a Masters event maybe twice in last twelve years - you’re not special in having seen Brooksby in person - you are special in having an embarrassing take on him that was dismissed two days after you wrote it
 
He also seems to struggle on overheads. Not a natural motion for him apparently for either shot. Being able to develop that is key, because getting an extra 10-15 points per match thanks to a good serve and overhead can be the difference in the big tight matches.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
As I’ll continue to remind you every time he sets a new career high, you’re already Talk TW’s wrongest man re: Brooksby, so you may want to sit this one out

I’ll take my lumps re Wolf if he never has a career that approaches Kudla etc - you can take your lumps on Brooksby, having doubted he’d ever be top 100, which was clearly nonsense

it’s frankly hilarious that you think watching matches live means you have some special spider sense re player development - might be news to you, but plenty of us on these boards see these guys in person - I’ve missed attending a Masters event maybe twice in last twelve years - you’re not special in having seen Brooksby in person - you are special in having an embarrassing take on him that was dismissed two days after you wrote it
wait, sooooo you are implying that a regular person can like, you know, just buy a ticket to a tennis tournament and watch a given player live?? Next thing you are going to say that it is also possible to sit in the first row since many times there are just not too many people watching and no one cares where you sit?? ;)
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
wait, sooooo you are implying that a regular person can like, you know, just buy a ticket to a tennis tournament and watch a given player live?? Next thing you are going to say that it is also possible to sit in the first row since many times there are just not too many people watching and no one cares where you sit?? ;)
:) yep, any time i've gone to W&S Masters (10 or so years), I'm shocked if I'm not in the front row anywhere besides center court (with the caveat of being crafty about the daily schedule and matches you want to watch, and sliding into the crowd at the end of the prior match so you can pounce between matches)

but i'm always happy to hear bob excitedly tell us who he saw from the front row / who he saw on the TV in his box suite
 

atatu

Legend
Brooksby has had the same coach since he was 7 so I think he will have a good circle to trust. Brooksby serve has improved in the last 3 years but obviously it is still a major weakness. He also has a very week overhead on both sides. I heard he used to just roll the serve in when he played in the juniors. In the last 2 to 3 years he has gone from about 6'1 130 to 6'4.5" 175 so maybe his body strength still needs to catch up with the growth.

Djokovic had some really nice things to say in the post game interview about Brooksby's game and how hard he compete and how well he disguises his shots. Maybe I'm biased but I think that match had the most energy in the tournament (and first sell out) and I think Brooksby got a lot of fans from this tourney.
Generally I agree, but I wish he would stop doing that stupid thing where he tries to distract his opponent when they are about to hit an overhead by shooting his hands up in the air, I half expected Novak to call him up to the net and say look kid, you're not at Baylor anymore, stop with the antics.
 

JW10S

Hall of Fame
I first saw Brooksby play in I think 2018 or so at the famous Ojai tournament. He was playing the Men's Open event despite still being a young teenager. I had heard about him but hadn't seen him play. What I saw was a scrappy, consistent player who had the worst serve I had ever seen in a high level event. He just rolled it in to start the point, I doubt back then any of his serves cracked 90mph. He made it to the semis which was a more than respectable finish for that event but I was left pondering how much better he could be with a better serve. I think the same thing now.

At this point any talk of his 'college career' and his time a Baylor is moot because he didn't play. Calling him a 'college player' is ridiculous because he wasn't, so that needs to stop. Max Cressy was a college player. Mackey McDonald was a college player. Steve Johnson was a college player. Brooksby was not. Nakashima at least played some matches.

The thing that impresses me is that he walked on to Arthur Ashe today thinking 'I belong here'. I think he can do some big things but that serve has to get better.
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
If Roddick says he will help Brooksby improve his serve, why wouldn't he take him up on that? He is young and has time to improve. If he was in his mid 30's and near the end of his professional career that might be a different situation.
 

andfor

Legend
If Roddick says he will help Brooksby improve his serve, why wouldn't he take him up on that? He is young and has time to improve. If he was in his mid 30's and near the end of his professional career that might be a different situation.
Hope Brooksby takes Roddick up on the serve coaching offer? Did Roddick offer that?

I recall Djoker around the same age had serve issues as well. If my memory is correct I recall he hired Todd Martin to help. His serve actually got worse. Martin was out soon after he started. Djoker obviously went on t0 fix his serve. I don't see any reason that Brooksby's can't be somewhere around the same at some point.
 
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jrstrat

Rookie
I first saw Brooksby play in I think 2018 or so at the famous Ojai tournament. He was playing the Men's Open event despite still being a young teenager. I had heard about him but hadn't seen him play. What I saw was a scrappy, consistent player who had the worst serve I had ever seen in a high level event. He just rolled it in to start the point, I doubt back then any of his serves cracked 90mph. He made it to the semis which was a more than respectable finish for that event but I was left pondering how much better he could be with a better serve. I think the same thing now.

At this point any talk of his 'college career' and his time a Baylor is moot because he didn't play. Calling him a 'college player' is ridiculous because he wasn't, so that needs to stop. Max Cressy was a college player. Mackey McDonald was a college player. Steve Johnson was a college player. Brooksby was not. Nakashima at least played some matches.

The thing that impresses me is that he walked on to Arthur Ashe today thinking 'I belong here'. I think he can do some big things but that serve has to get better.
I started this thread and knew calling Brookbsy a college player a stretch. He was injured at the beginning of the 2020 season and a week or two before he was ready to return, the season was shut down due to Covid. Obviously he was a one semester college tennis guy only but that didn't happen due to injury and then Covid. At least I started a thread that got some interest on this board since otherwise it is pretty much dead.

Also, 2 months ago, Brooksby was playing in front of 25 people in challenger events, picking up his own tennis balls and having the chair umpire make all of the calls. Last night he played in front of 23k fans in an electric environment. I agree that had to be an incredible feeling for him to play that match last night.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
Brooksby has had the same coach since he was 7 so I think he will have a good circle to trust. Brooksby serve has improved in the last 3 years but obviously it is still a major weakness. He also has a very week overhead on both sides. I heard he used to just roll the serve in when he played in the juniors. In the last 2 to 3 years he has gone from about 6'1 130 to 6'4.5" 175 so maybe his body strength still needs to catch up with the growth.

Djokovic had some really nice things to say in the post game interview about Brooksby's game and how hard he compete and how well he disguises his shots. Maybe I'm biased but I think that match had the most energy in the tournament (and first sell out) and I think Brooksby got a lot of fans from this tourney.
yes, he has played a counter puncher/placement type game since he was in 12's and service was a roll in it and play the point out, very few freebies
 
At this point any talk of his 'college career' and his time a Baylor is moot because he didn't play. Calling him a 'college player' is ridiculous because he wasn't, so that needs to stop. Max Cressy was a college player. Mackey McDonald was a college player. Steve Johnson was a college player. Brooksby was not. Nakashima at least played some matches.
Baylor is going to use it all they can. Probably throughout his whole career, which is cringeworthy for sure.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
They will talk about Brooksby being a Baylor alum forever, but will never acknowledge Boland was ever on campus....
I, personally, think it will be talked about as more a footnote, at least for the tennis program. It's difficult to sell a potential recruit on how much the program did for a player when that player never played a match for the program. For the general Baylor population and the image of the school, it might be easier to point out all of the great Baylor sports alums and the Brooksby legacy would definitely fit in there.
 

Autodidactic player

Professional
I, personally, think it will be talked about as more a footnote, at least for the tennis program. It's difficult to sell a potential recruit on how much the program did for a player when that player never played a match for the program. For the general Baylor population and the image of the school, it might be easier to point out all of the great Baylor sports alums and the Brooksby legacy would definitely fit in there.
I think that the pitch will be more like: Quality players like Brooksby sign up to play for Baylor because we have a great program. If you want to be great, come join us at Baylor.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
I think that the pitch will be more like: Quality players like Brooksby sign up to play for Baylor because we have a great program. If you want to be great, come join us at Baylor.
And realistically, that's the only sort of pitch you can make. That speaks more to the program and not Brooksby in particular, but an informed parent is going to do the homework on Brooksby and realize that he's not the best example on why someone should choose Baylor. While joining a program that may improve your tennis and could possibly win a national title is good in the short term, you'll have to think about the long term goal -- pro tour possibly but successful career off the court realistically.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
John McEnroe was not at all impressed with Brooksby's serve. He said that he has the same coach since childhood and how come the serve was not looked into.
 

andfor

Legend
John McEnroe was not at all impressed with Brooksby's serve. He said that he has the same coach since childhood and how come the serve was not looked into.
Lot to assume but I'll take a guess. He's winning a lot through juniors, futures, challengers, now pros. During the players progression most coaches focus to keep improving strengths that contribute the the players winning formula. Not to say weaknesses are forgotten or neglected altogether, but also worked on to a lesser degree as the strengths.

I'd like to see a high performance or pro coach weigh in with a little more detail. Maybe even hear more back story on Brooksby's development and stories about his serve in particular. As we all know every player is so different.

That said as I recall Djoker's serve (I know, I said that before) was still developing through his late teens and around 20 or so. He worked through issues then. Same with Del Potro. My guess is Brooksby's serve will improve now greatly over the next 12-18 months.
 

bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
Ok so he made it to round of 16 at the USO as a wild card, one round deeper than the "mullet" did last year. The mullet made it to the 3rd round of the USO as a wild card. Everyone in the forum hyped up the mullet after 2020 USO. Guess what? The mullet failed to qualify for the USO this year.

Let not get ahead of ourselves.
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
Ok so he made it to round of 16 at the USO as a wild card, one round deeper than the "mullet" did last year. The mullet made it to the 3rd round of the USO as a wild card. Everyone in the forum hyped up the mullet after 2020 USO. Guess what? The mullet failed to qualify for the USO this year.

Let not get ahead of ourselves.
so, to be clear, brooksby did become a top 100 player during his ATP career? or your front row scouting eyes were correct that he didn’t have top 100 potential?

(I’m also not sure wolf won a set 6-1 off the greatest player in tennis history last year - during his run for the calendar GS - but sure those situations are nearly identical)
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Ok so he made it to round of 16 at the USO as a wild card, one round deeper than the "mullet" did last year. The mullet made it to the 3rd round of the USO as a wild card. Everyone in the forum hyped up the mullet after 2020 USO. Guess what? The mullet failed to qualify for the USO this year.

Let not get ahead of ourselves.
So because JJ Wolf (and it really is disrespecting on you to not call him by his name) failed to qualify for this year US Open _after being sidelined for 8 months following a surgery_ you are already saying he is no good? Plus - who, and to what degree, exactly 'hyped' him up?
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
So because JJ Wolf (and it really is disrespecting on you to not call him by his name) failed to qualify for this year US Open _after being sidelined for 8 months following a surgery_ you are already saying he is no good? Plus - who, and to what degree, exactly 'hyped' him up?
among others, I’m guilty of saying his career would be at least as good as Kudla - while I haven’t given up on that this early in his career, especially hampered by surgery, I probably would be less aggressive w that prediction if I could go back in time

but, I’ll own that L if he falls short of Kudla

bob’s Brooksby take - we’ll see when he owns that L
 

atatu

Legend
I was thinking he'll have a Querrey type career, which isn't bad at all, if he does better than Sam I'll be impressed.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
among others, I’m guilty of saying his career would be at least as good as Kudla - while I haven’t given up on that this early in his career, especially hampered by surgery, I probably would be less aggressive w that prediction if I could go back in time

but, I’ll own that L if he falls short of Kudla

bob’s Brooksby take - we’ll see when he owns that L
well, yes, true - but saying that someone will have a Kudla-like career is not really 'hyping', is it? It is a fairly good prediction based on how JJ Wolf performed till last year, his physical abilities, and so on. And not that having a Kudla-like career is something to sneeze at. So I wouldn't exactly calling your prediction (which I kind of hope comes through) 'hyping'.
I actually had a bet at the end of 2019 whether he reaches at least 120 rank by the end of September 2021. I've lost it since he was 120 _exactly_ for two weeks back in September 2020. I mean exactly 120, I should have bet 'better than 120' :)

On a related topic. Out of recent college players: McDonald, Cressy, Nakashima, Brooksby (let's include him as well on technicality) I still say that Cressy will be the best. There's just nothing the others do/can do to stand out. Cressy at least plays the unusual style, and he has a serve. When I was watching McDonald vs Nakashima few weeks back at Cincinnati it was like a college game: I start with a decent serve but nothing to write home about, then we are going to rally crosscourt fairly safe but hardly forcing shots until someone misses, then repeat. That is just not how pros play these days. You can only go so far by running after each shot, if nothing else your body will break after few seasons.
 
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andfor

Legend
Brooksby now with a live ranking of #71
I like that kid. Saw a clip of him hitting yesterday with a left wrist brace or wrap on. A little concerning. Hope its just for protection and that he does not have a tendon issue with it.
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
Brooksby and Nakashima both qualify in Antwerp - Brooksby to face Opelka (interesting contrast in styles, but Opelka’s serve going to be mighty hard to break indoors) - Nakashima to face de Minaur
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
Nakashima dumps de Minaur 4&0, and he's now up to a career high 74 in the world

if you look at the top 14 Americans by current ranking and age, the changing-of-the-guard is pretty apparent (Isner being the one exception still holding strong)
#26 Isner - 36 yo
#27 Opelka - 24 yo
#28 Fritz - 23 yo
#37 Korda - 21 yo
#49 Tiafoe - 23 yo
#53 Paul - 24 yo
#56 McDonald - 26 yo
#60 Giron - 28 yo
#66 Brooksby - 20 yo
#74 Nakashima - 20 yo
#89 Johnson - 31 yo
#90 Kudla - 29 yo
#93 Sandgren - 30 yo
#98 Querrey - 34 yo

that's 8 guys by my count, mid-20s or younger and in the top 75 in the world
5-10 years of opportunity for any of those 8 guys to break through as the next American to be a consistent top-10 presence
things are looking up!

just for fun, a reminder of what they're chasing / the best rankings that recent American men have achieved:
a tie between...
Isner, who peaked at #8 for one week in July of 2018
and
Sock, who had a year-end ranking of #8 in 2017

I wonder how many US tennis fans would know that Sock has held the highest year-end American ranking in the past many years...was a slight surprise to me, though I recall the blazing finish he had to that year
 
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Ace of Aces

Semi-Pro
Nakashima dumps de Minaur 4&0, and he's now up to a career high 74 in the world

if you look at the top 14 Americans by current ranking and age, the changing-of-the-guard is pretty apparent (Isner being the one exception still holding strong)
#26 Isner - 36 yo
#27 Opelka - 24 yo
#28 Fritz - 23 yo
#37 Korda - 21 yo
#49 Tiafoe - 23 yo
#53 Paul - 24 yo
#56 McDonald - 26 yo
#60 Giron - 28 yo
#66 Brooksby - 20 yo
#74 Nakashima - 20 yo
#89 Johnson - 31 yo
#90 Kudla - 29 yo
#93 Sandgren - 30 yo
#98 Querrey - 34 yo

that's 8 guys by my count, mid-20s or younger and in the top 75 in the world
5-10 years of opportunity for any of those 8 guys to break through as the next American to be a consistent top-10 presence
things are looking up!
14 of the worlds top 100 is pretty good. Not having one or two players who are serious contenders to be in the WTF every year masks the improvement in depth.
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
Brooksby takes first set 6-4 from Opelka

watched him serve out the first set, and made 4/5 first serves with radar gun showing 169-170-175 km/h for a few of them, translating to 105-106-109 mph - commentators mentioning that he made > 70% first serves in the set

there's probably more recent data, but from an old Talk TW post, here's some 2008 US Open data re: average 1st serve speeds:
ATP (US Open)
Roddick 126 MPH (202)
Del Potro 121 MPH (195)
Tursunov 118 MPH (190)
Monfils 117 MPH (188)
Djokovic 115 MPH (185)
James Blake 115 MPH (185)
Federer 114 MPH (183)
Nalbandian 111 MPH (179)
Murray 111 MPH (179)
Ferrer 109 MPH (175)
Nadal 108 MPH (174)
Kei Nishikori 105 MPH (169)
Davydenko 104 MPH (167)


my take away from that - if this kid can just add 5 mph to his first serve over the next couple years, and continue to make a ton of them, he's going to be more than fine from a serve standpoint
 
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andfor

Legend
6-4,6-4 absolutely clinical takedown of Opelka on indoor hard court

bottom half of this draw has some opportunity for both Nakashima and Brooksby - here's hoping one of them can take advantage
Something about Brooksby that you can't put a number on, I believe it's on the mental side where he may accel highly. High tennis IQ, mental toughness, coachability, those intangible qualities that's hard to measure compared to what our eye easily sees like shot speed, foot speed, strength, etc.
 

JLyon

Hall of Fame
n
6-4,6-4 absolutely clinical takedown of Opelka on indoor hard court

bottom half of this draw has some opportunity for both Nakashima and Brooksby - here's hoping one of them can take advantage
nice win over a big server indoors. As for his serve, pace does not matter if he can place it on a dime. Very impressed with his results, like the Women's finalist, will be curious to see how he does once his game is seen more and more by the tour. Still relative unknown, but awesome wins and ranking moves.
 

andfor

Legend
Current world #25 Opelka says Brooksby is the best of the current young class of Americans can be a #1. That before Brooksby beat him yesterday.
 
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