Who is That Guy Brooksby Across the Net?

I had never seen him play tennis, but I knew he had reached the round of 16 at the US Open. He found himself in the largest tennis stadium on earth, Arthur Ashe Stadium. It was 4 PM Monday, the sixth, as he stood across the net from Novak Djokovic. His name was/is Jenson Brooksby, a twenty-year-old from northern California.

He won the 18-Year-old USTA national championship in Kalamazoo, Michigan. JT, as some call him, had never played on grass and reached the final of this year’s ATP event in Newport, Rhode Island. Jenson had beaten a host of world-class tennis players in this his first year as a pro, before Monday.

On the American Labor Day, Djokovic, who aimed for the first calendar Grand Slam in over half a century, looked like a rank amateur in his first set to this almost amateur. The dust had settled, and the score was 6-1, Brooksby. 

Jenson has a unique game with many surprises. He has excellent consistency, intelligent shot choices, and significant movement. Things came down to earth for JT in sets two, three, and four, all won by Novak, who needed to play the longest 6-3 set I have ever seen given Brooksby’s persistence.

Nevertheless, given his remarkable, deep run, reminiscent of the young John McEnroe 42 years ago at Wimbledon, he may well be the future of American men’s tennis. We need one.

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