WATCH: A valiant effort wasn't enough to get Jenson Brooksby over the finish line against his higher-ranked opponent.

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Jenson Brooksby says he learns something new from every match he plays. What might he take away from his 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 loss to No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev on Sunday at Indian Wells?

The most obvious lesson would be not to let the bomb-serving German break him in the opening game of the match, and again in the opening game of the deciding set. That’s what happened in Stadium 1 today, and both times Zverev’s serve proved unstoppable for the rest of the set. In the early going, his high-kicking second serve gave Brooksby as much trouble as his first. In the final set, Zverev finally found a groove on his first serve and used it to run away with the victory.

"I actually didn’t think I served that well today,” Zverev said, “that’s why I wanted to let it go at the end.”

Brooksby followed up his US Open four-setter with Novak Djokovic with another strong performance in the California desert.

Brooksby followed up his US Open four-setter with Novak Djokovic with another strong performance in the California desert.

While Zverev had the clear edge on the serve—he hits it 20 m.p.h harder than the American—Brooksby held his own everywhere else, and even took control of the proceedings in the second set. At his best, Brooksby frustrated Zverev with his depth, his directional changes, the consistency of his two-handed backhand, and his ability to inject pace with his forehand. He also found a way to counter Zverev’s serve by moving forward and taking it on the rise. Brooksby couldn’t match the weight or pace of Zverev’s shots, but he was still able to get on top of his share of the rallies.

“He’s a tricky player,” Zverev said, “He’s young, motivated…He wasn’t giving me anything.”

Brooksby didn’t give much away, but Zverev quickly took the initiative back in the third set. With an early break in hand, he loosened up on his serve and didn’t give Brooksby the time he needed to change directions and build his points. In the end, Brooksby’s trickery and motivation ran into a top player’s superior power. If there’s a lesson in there for Brooksby, it probably starts with getting more power of his own on his serve.

As for Zverev, he moves on to a marquee matchup against Andy Murray. “He’s the only one of the Big 4 I haven’t beaten,” Zverev said.

Was that a warning?