Brandon Nakashima and Jiri Lehecka will battle for the Next Gen ATP Finals title after each player won his respective semifinal showdown on Friday in Milan, Italy.
The fourth-seeded American Nakashima, who won the Green Group in the prior stage, took down British third seed Jack Draper 4-3 (6), 1-4, 4-2, 4-3 (5). Lehecka, the fifth seed from the Czech Republic, defeated Swiss seventh seed and Red Group champion Dominic Stricker 4-1, 4-3 (4), 2-4, 4-1.
The tournament showcased the world’s top eight 21-and-under players, who were separated into two groups for round-robin play. The winner of each group faced the runner-up from the other group in Friday’s semifinals.
The event’s unique format featured no-ad scoring and sets to four games, with tiebreakers at 3-3.
Nakashima, 21, won 42 of his 50 first-service points (84 percent) against Draper to counter Draper’s 15-10 advantage in aces and 5-for-6 mark in break points saved.
Stricker went 3-0 in the Red Group during the previous stage, but the 21-year-old Lehecka wasn’t fazed in Friday’s match, hitting four aces and winning 36 of 47 first-service points (76.6 percent).
When Nakashima and Lehecka met during the group stage, Nakashima prevailed in straight sets, 4-1, 4-3 (2), 4-2.
–Field Level Media