World No. 49 Brandon Nakashima was jubilant after clinching the Next Gen ATP Finals at the Allianz Cloud Arena in Milan. The 21-year-old outclassed Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic in straight sets, 4-3(5), 4-3(6), 4-2, in Saturday's final.
Speaking to the media post-match, Nakashima said it was "the best feeling in the world."
"Being American and being able to play here in Milan is the best feeling in the world," he said. "I am going to take (the title) back to the US and now take some time off."
The American was quick to credit his team for his success.
"My team means everything to me," he continued. "Together we have had such a great year, working well together. I am happy with where we are at right now and we are going to enjoy this one."
Reflecting on his week in Milan, Nakashima said he was "super happy" with his performance, adding that the final against Lehecka could have gone either way.
"I am super happy right now. It was a great tournament this whole week. This final was another tough match. Just a few points that could have gone either way. I am happy with my level today. It is a good way to finish off the year," Nakashima added.
At the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, Nakashima lost in the semifinals to compatriot Sebastian Korda in a thrilling five-set encounter.
"It was a final, so there are going to be some pressure moments" - Brandon Nakashima on his match against Jiri Lehecka
It wasn't all straightforward for Next Gen ATP Finals winner Brandon Nakashima against fellow 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka in the title match. The American found himself trailing 3-1 in the first set but went on to win three straight games, eventually taking the set in a tie-break. He also won the next set in a tie-break, before wrapping up the encounter in just over 80 minutes.
Nakashima revealed that he was nervous at the start of the match but was happy with how he turned things around.
"It was a final, so there are going to be some pressure moments," he said in his presser. "There were some nerves at the beginning, but I am happy I was able to turn it around quickly and close it out at the end."