Brandon Nakashima ATP 2021

Brandon Nakashima suffers scare in Next Gen Finals win

Brandon Nakashima defeated Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi in five sets to earn an opening win at the ATP Next Gen Finals.

Nakashima, who reached his highest ranking of 43 last month, prevailed 2-4, 4-3 (7), 4-3 (4), 3-4 (4), 4-2 in two hours and ten minutes.

He had seemed primed to wrap the match up in four sets leading 3-1, but Arnaldi, driven on by home support, fought back and forced a decider.

The American admitted the new format, which includes the stripping of double tramlines and each set being first to four games, led to his slow start.

‘’It kind of took me a while to get used to the format, the new conditions out here’’, he said in his post match interview.

‘’Right from the beginning it was a lot of crucial points, the sets were going by fast, so I just tried to adapt as quick as possible.’’

Arnaldi had the home advantage in Milan and Nakashima was asked whether that affected his performance.

He replied: ‘’It’s tough, but either way whoever the crowd is cheering for, it’s always fun to play in front of them. The Italian fans, they get very electric during these events. I’m happy to be back here and playing in front of them again.’’

Brandon Nakashima will be hoping to go one better this time around after making the semi-finals in Milan last year. He lost out then in five sets to compatriot Sebastian Korda.

He won his maiden ATP title in his home city of San Diego this year and is seen as one of the favourites for this event, alongside Lorenzo Musetti and Jack Draper.

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