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Behind the Sunglasses: Catching up with Jenson Brooksby
The young American wrapped up his first full season on the ATP tour with a lightening round about his favorite emcee, his earliest tennis memory, and emoji duels in the family group chat.
Published Nov 28, 2022
WATCH: Brooksby reached his third ATP final in Atlanta this summer.
Jenson Brooksby burst onto the scene last summer when he took a shocking first set from world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the US Open, and the young American maintained that momentum into 2022 to make his Top 40 debut.
As 22-year-old NoCal native continues to gain fans with his unorthodox game, get to know Brooksby with a lightening round covering his favorite music, his childhood trips to the BNP Paribas Open, and his go-to emoji.
TENNIS.com: What music amps you up before a big match?
Jenson Brooksby: That’s a funny one because I feel like people have a specific set that they go to all the time. For me, it’s always changing.
Just before matches, I don’t really listen to music; it’s more often that I’ll do it in the morning when I’m still in the hotel room to get me going. Usually it ends up being rap or hip-hop before matches to get pumped up but other times I’ll throw in some EDM or rock, too. It just depends on my mood in the moment.
TENNIS.com: Favorite emcee?
Brooksby: For hip-hop, I’d say Eminem is my favorite; there’s a lot of good ones out there but he’s my favorite. He’s got so many good songs. I actually watched 8 Mile recently, too.
TENNIS.com: Is there a match you remember inspiring you most as you got into tennis?
Brooksby: When I watched pro tennis as a kid, I would go to the Indian Wells tournament with my dad when I was around 10-14. If I reflect back on that now, it’s pretty funny to think I was watching the guys then. I remember watching plenty of matches and wanting autographs; one in particular, I remember watching a Tomas Berdych match. I don’t remember who he was playing but we did get to sit really close to the court and watch. For that one, I was probably around 12 or so and thinking both guys were just hitting the ball so big and it would be a dream to get there one day.
On TV, I watched all the Slam finals with the Big 3 guys.
TENNIS.com: When you’re in a new city, how do you like to spend an off day?
Brooksby: I always try to explore a new place, especially if I haven’t been there before. The schedule doesn’t always allow for that but I always shoot for it. Usually, it would be either once I’m done with the tournament, so that evening I’d walk around and try to do something, or if I’m there with a couple of days before my first match, I’d do it then. I try to see what I can do within walking distance from the hotel like, in South Korea, there was a mall nearby so I walked around there. That was pretty cool.
TENNIS.com: Who are some of your go-to follows on social media?
Brooksby: I don’t really go on Instagram, actually. I know I have an account, but it’s really more run for me. On YouTube, what I watch the most is college football, college basketball, NFL, and NBA, so you could catch me watching a lot of highlights or fantasy NFL.
TENNIS.com: And finally, favorite emoji:
Brooksby: Let me look at my texts right now and see the ones I use most…
The top few I use most are the tilted laugh-cry emoji, the sunglasses one, the thinking emoji, and the bicep flex. My dad and I often go back and forth with the thinking emoji.