Nakashima dominates Next Gen Finals opener

Brandon Nakashima of the United States has dominated the opening match at the Next Gen Finals on Tuesday.

Nakashima took less than 90 minutes to beat Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 4-1 3-4 (7-3) 4-1 4-0.

Nakashima, ranked 63rd in the world, broke serve four times and won when the 91st-ranked Cerundolo returned a serve into the net.

It is the fourth edition of the tournament in Milan for the top 21-and-under players on the ATP Tour. The tournament was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ATP Finals will also be in Italy, in Turin next week.

There are different rules at the Next Gen Finals, including on-court coaching, no-Ad scoring, medical timeout limits, and Hawk-Eye making all the line calls.

The most drastic change is the shorter set, where the first to four games takes the set, with a tie-break at 3-3.

This year there are also shorter warm-ups, ensuring matches begin just one minute after the players enter the court, while bathroom breaks are timed to three minutes.

The eight-man tournament has a round-robin format with the top two in both groups qualifying for Friday’s semifinals. The final is on Sunday.

Nakashima and Cerundolo are in Group A, along with Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and Holger Rune of Denmark, who meet in the second match on Tuesday.

In Group, Sebastian Korda of the US plays Hugo Gaston of France, and home favourite Lorenzo Musetti faces Sebastian Baez of Argentina.

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