Brandon Nakashima defeats Jiri Lehecka to win the Next Gen tournament


Daniella Matar, The Associated Press

MILAN — American Brandon Nakashima stayed perfect in Italy and won the ATP Next Gen tournament on Saturday after beating Jiri Lehecka in three sets.

Nakashima needed just 80 minutes to win 4-3(5), 4-3(6), 4-2 and claim the title on his first of three match points.

Nakashima, seeded fourth, has won all five of its matches in the tournament, which features the best players 21 and under. He defeated Lehecka in straight sets during the group stage.

Lehecka had revenge on his heart and he broke Nakashima’s serve in the first game of the clash, but the American returned the favor to his opponent in the sixth game before winning the tiebreaker.

Lehecka threatened to start the second set the same way, but Nakashima saved two break points.

The next break in service proved to be the most important because it came in the last game of the tournament, in favor of Nakashima.

It was a second Next Gen tournament appearance for Nakashima, who lost in the semi-finals to compatriot Sebastian Korda last year.

Nakashima claimed his first ATP Tour title when he triumphed at home in San Diego in September.




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