Jenson Brooksby: ‘You Have To Prove Yourself’ | ATP Tour

Jenson Brooksby did not take much time during the offseason to reflect on his 2021 success. The ATP Newcomer of the Year briefly discussed it with his family at home in December, but he is not one to rest on his laurels.

“In tennis you have to focus on the next moment because at the end of the day, this year is a new year,” Brooksby told “You have to prove yourself and keep getting better. There are things in the moment that I do enjoy, but you have to keep your focus on.”

The American missed the Australian swing due to a positive Covid-19 test, which prevented him from travelling Down Under. After competing in an ATP Challenger Tour event in Columbus, he is playing his first tour-level event of the year this week at the Dallas Open.

“I’m really excited. Even my couple months of offseason after Paris, I was coming back from an ab injury and then I had some other things going on, so I only really got three to four days of full training when I was feeling good on court, which is not ideal,” Brooksby said. “Then Covid hit right before Australia and I was also sick [with something else] during Columbus, so that wasn’t nice.

“But since Columbus, the past week of training here, I’ve gotten more hours, better tennis training, which I’ve wanted. I’m hoping and working to stay healthy and excited to see how I can improve this year.”

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If there is one word that describes Brooksby, it is focussed. The American is a maximiser who puts everything he can into every practice, training session and match. Besides staying healthy, which he said is his number one priority, the 21-year-old aims to boost his physicality on the court.

One match that stuck out to Brooksby last year was at the US Open against Novak Djokovic. The home favourite battled through three tough matches and in the Round of 16 took the opening set from World No. 1 Djokovic 6-1 before the Serbian rallied behind unrelenting physical play.

“That’s why all these things — the process — are so important, because they can all make a big difference to last even longer. That’s how I feel I’ll get the most confidence with myself. If I’m doing everything I think I can to get through longer and not have the body affect me later on in matches and not allow me to play how I want to play [that will help my confidence], because it’s disappointing,” Brooksby said. “I want to win tournaments and at least I had the opportunity last year to see what it takes.

“There’s no tougher feeling than losing that way for me. I think it’s key that I’ve learned well, will continue to learn and do the things that will hopefully help me win titles and get through those weeks body-wise.”


Brooksby added that there is always something to improve on.

“[It is about] just really being physical in my playing and learning new things in the game, too. But also [it is] getting my mind to really just focus on a few things on court and compete, not overthink, which is what I do well,” Brooksby said. “Sometimes it can be easy to get out of it. I think those few areas, at least right now, are what I’m hoping to improve on.”

The World No. 54 reached his first ATP Tour final last year in Newport, made the semi-finals in Washington, D.C., and ascended from outside the world’s Top 300 to the fringe of the Top 50. Although he appreciates all the positive feedback he has gotten following his breakthrough season, he is locked in on performing even better.

“I can’t be a fan of it. That’s the tough part back home,” Brooksby said. “I’m happy that everyone is proud of me, but it’s my job.

“I think it does take a lot of discipline to not look things up or be distracted by other things, but I’ve done it enough lately where it’s become simpler for me and I’m sure that’ll be the case as I keep doing that. All that matters for me at least is how I’m focussed on my process and how I’m getting better.”

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