Jenson Brooksby earned the biggest win of his career Thursday, when he upset Casper Ruud in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open. The 22-year-old will next meet countryman Tommy Paul. 

In 2022, Brooksby enjoyed his career-best season, including rising to 33 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in June 2022. Should he beat Paul, Brooksby would tie his best Grand Slam result, which he reached at the 2021 US Open (R16, l. Djokovic).

A three-time finalist on Tour, the California native shared with what he likes to cook and eat to prepare himself for competition.


If you were having some friends over for dinner, what would you cook and why? 
I actually do cook once in awhile. My roommate Cam and I sometimes like to cook together. I would say I would cook salmon and steak with brussel sprouts and veggies. With salmon and steak I can get my protein, it’s pretty healthy and we can share it.

How would you rate your cooking skills on a scale of 1-10?
Six. I’m not bad but if I expanded to a few more things, I could get higher. If you ask me again this time next year, it’s got to be up to an eight.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I’ve been eating smart but my go-to is pancakes with syrup and cream for breakfast or lunch. I love that.

What is your go-to meal the night before a match?
Usually chicken and rice. Maybe steak as well, but usually white meat or fish with rice or potatoes, something quick and simple for the digestive system.


How many hours before a match do you eat and what do you eat right before stepping on the match court?
I don’t like to have too big of a meal for breakfast or lunch. I usually try to have lunch a couple hours before a match. Something simple, chicken or fish and rice.

What do you snack on during the match?
I don’t really like to eat during a match. I just make sure I have my water and electrolytes. I might have a Gatorade gel pack for a little carbs or even a small packet of peanut butter.

What are your favourite restaurants and what do you order?
Usually on the road I end up eating at the hotel or at the site. There’s been a few steakhouses I like. I like a lot of different stuff: Asian food, Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican. The simple American food is not for me so much.

Last year, my travel coach Nick showed me this place called Magpie in downtown Sacramento, there’s some good restaurants there. A couple good Mexican restaurants and cafes there as well.


What’s a food you refuse to eat?
When I was a kid I would eat anything. Now I can feel if I eat unhealthy, like fast food. I feel the difference in the body. I don’t eat things like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, or desserts. The past couple months I haven’t even had coffee, I feel like that helps with consistent energy. I like the taste but I was like ‘If I don’t need it, what’s the point?’

Is there a food that people might be surprised you enjoy?
I do love trying different foods. I loved having dumplings in South Korea and I loved having alligator and frog legs. Especially duck, that might be my favourite meat. I was probably 14 when I had alligator. I was on a cruise, I can’t even remember where I was, somewhere in Europe, maybe like a Mediterranean cruise with my grandparents. I had frog legs within the past couple years. If I’m at a nice restaurant and they have it, I’d get that.