A tight straight-sets win in the finals against Jiri Lehecka settled it. Brandon Nakashima Wins the Next Gen Finals.
Brandon Nakashima Wins the Next Gen Finals
Nakashima doesn’t have the most power or impressive ball-striking of the field, but he seems to be the strongest player mentally. He showed this quality in numerous matches at this year’s Next Gen Finals. Nakashima won all his matches and was particularly impressive in tie-breaks.
In the final against Jiri Lehecka, he was down a break in the first set and came back and won. Then he saved two sets points in the second set and won. And Lehecka looked a little bit broken from that and ended up losing the third set more easily.
It was a high-quality final with loads of excellent rallies with explosive hitting and movement. Lehecka’s firepower is fun to watch, but Nakashima’s movement and understanding of the game led him to the title. He ended up playing Lehecka twice, once in the group stage and then in the final, and he didn’t lose a single set. It again shows how important mental strength is in tennis. You need many parts as a professional athlete, and the mental part is as essential as the physical.
Players who have won the Next Gen Finals have shown impressive improvement and rises in the rankings in the year to follow. What can we expect from Nakashima? If he can keep improving, he can definitely reach the top 15 players in the world. I still struggle to see him compete on the same level as Alcaraz and Rune, but he has the game to be one of the top ten best players in the world. It will be interesting to follow his journey after his somewhat unexpected triumph at the Next Gen Finals.
Ps. Brandon Nakashima’s racquet is the Babolat Pure Strike 98 Ds.
How do you rate Nakashima’s chances and future? And did you watch the Next Gen Finals?