The #NextGenATP American has now won 10 of his past 12 tour-level matches dating back to the start of his run at the Mifel Open in Los Cabos. Before that, he had not earned a victory at this level since last year’s US Open.
Nakashima made back-to-back finals in Los Cabos and Atlanta — marking his first two championship matches on the ATP Tour — and his confidence is showing in Washington. The Californian has not lost a set through two matches at the ATP 500, and he converted four of his five break points against Evans.
“It definitely feels great right now. Having all this confidence from playing all these matches, going deep in tournaments has been good for me,” Nakashima said. “I’m sure every player would want to have this feeling right now of playing well and winning all these matches. I’m just trying to embrace it as much as possible.”
Evans is a gritty competitor, who reached a career-high No. 25 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in June. The 31-year-old trailed by a break late in the first set and saved a set point en route to a tie-break. But in the critical moments, Nakashima hit back-to-back screaming passing shots to seize control. The former University of Virginia player then took the opener and never looked back.
“I think he’s got obviously a very big future. He seems very calm and levelheaded, which is a good thing. He played good today. He put me away pretty convincingly in the end,” said Evans, who missed the Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19. “He’s going to be a good player.”
Did You Know?
Nakashima celebrated his 20th birthday Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Australian Alexei Popyrin.