CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia director of tennis and head men’s tennis coach Andres Pedroso announced the signing of Brandon Nakashima (San Diego, Calif.) and Christian Alshon (Boca Raton, Fla.). Nakashima will be joining the team in January for the 2019 spring dual season while Alshon will enroll in the fall and will compete in 2019-20.
Nakashima is currently the No. 5 junior player in the world. In October, he upset world No. 1 junior Chun Hsin Tseng to win the 2018 ITF Junior Masters Boys’ Singles Championship in Chengdu, China. Nakashima played in three junior Grand Slams this year, advancing to the quarterfinals in singles at the junior US and French Opens and the quarterfinals of doubles at Junior Wimbledon. In a warm-up to Wimbledon, he won the singles title at the Junior International Roehampton tournament. In April, he also won the singles title at International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif. He was the runner-up this year at the Boys’ 18 Singles National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Nakashima has also had success outside of junior tennis. He advanced to the second round of qualifying for the men’s singles main draw at this year’s U.S. Open and won the singles title as a wildcard entrant at the Laguna Niguel Racquet Club USTA Pro Futures tournament in September in California.
“In Brandon Nakashima, our program is welcoming a young man that is known throughout the tennis world for his character, work ethic and overall professionalism,” Pedroso said. “Brandon’s results speak for themselves but what’s most impressive is the daily dedication that he brings to his craft every time he steps on to the court, into the gym and in everything he does to maximize as a student-athlete. He will add value to our team in many areas and I know the entire program is very excited to call him a teammate come January.”
A five-star Blue Chip recruit who trains at the Magallan Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Alshon has won six USTA national junior titles, two in singles and four in doubles. He was the Boys 18s singles champion at the 2018 USTA National Winter Championships and also won the 18s doubles title in July of 2017 at the USTA National Clay Court Championships. In May, he won both the boys 18’s doubles and singles titles at the Delray Beach ITF Juniors tournament. He was also the runner-up in doubles at the 2018 Easter Bowl Championships. Alshon is currently rated as the No. 11 recruit in the country by Tennis Recruiting.net and he has been as high as No. 6 on the list of blue-chips in 2018.
“I have known Christian Alshon since he was 13 years old and all along I have considered him one of the toughest competitors in American junior tennis,” Pedroso said. “Christian will be an asset to our program in the classroom and on both the singles and the doubles court. I’m really looking forward to watching Christian represent the orange and blue in the same way that so many great UVA players have in the past. I know he’s as excited as we are and I can’t wait to see the positive impact that he will have on our team.”