Nakashima, ranked 49, beat 74th-ranked Lehecka 4-3 (7/5), 4-3 (8/6), 4-2 in the tournament which features the eight best players aged 21-years-and-under on the ATP Tour.
The 21-year-old, who won his first ATP title this year in San Diego, succeeds Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz who triumphed in the Next Gen tournament last year and went on to claim the US Open trophy last September.
Brandon Nakashima started the year as 68th in the world and will finish it in the top 50. The 21-year-old American was crowned at the NextGen Finals in Milan to consolidate his great season, so now he must begin to stand out among the “greats” if he does not want what he achieved this 2022 to remain just an anecdote.
The native of San Diego was the big favorite to win the Cup, despite the great week of the Czech Jiri Lehecka; Brandon has more experience in the circuit and in the end it was precisely that what got him ahead to show that he can be very dangerous on court, because after an hour and 20 minutes, he won 4-3, 4-3 and 4-2 against an opponent who was extremely complicated.
Brandon Nakashima will end the year with in 43rd place in the ranking, his best record since 2019 when he turned pro. Also, after his participation in Milan, he will receive the biggest purse in his career, as the tournament will award him 432, 750 thousand dollars.
Alcaraz, 19, became the youngest men’s world number one after his US Open victory and would have participated in the ATP Tour Final which starts in Turin on Sunday and not the Next Gen, but withdrew because of an abdominal tear.
Dane Holger Rune, 19, winner of the Paris Masters and now ranked 10th in the world, preferred to be an alternate at the ATP Tour Final rather than compete in the Next Gen event.
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