TennisSection previews the 2021 Next Gen ATP Finals as Holger Rune takes on Brandon Nakashima in the Round Robin Stage on Thursday, November 11th, 2021.
Who will claim a spot in the semifinals of the 2021 Next Gen ATP Finals? Will Holger Rune master Brandon Nakashima? It all comes down to these two tenacious young men who have set up a decisive group stage encounter for the right to join Alcaraz in the last four.
Both Holger Rune and Brandon Nakashima lost to the top-seeded Spaniard, leaving a winner takes all in the last group stage match. Rune came into Wednesday’s match with very little margin for error, and he duly delivered. The 18-year-old Dane needed just 78 minutes to outlast Argentina’s clay-court specialist Juan Manuel Cerundolo, winning 4-1, 4-2, 1-4, 4-1. The first-to-4 format in a set gave Rune a cushion as he surged ahead at every opportunity leaving Cerundolo floored. Rune lost a tiny bit of focus in the third set on serve, but he will be generally pleased with his overall performance.
Brandon Nakashima will look to emulate the result he mastered in his opening match against Cerundolo. If it happens against Holger Rune, the American will advance into the last four of the Next Gen ATP Finals. Nakashima was under immense pressure against a barrage of heavy hitting from Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday. But having ceded two tiebreak sets in the match, it highlighted his credentials as a tough proposition for the top seed. Can he knock off Holger Rune in his next test?
This will be the first official meeting between Holger Rune and Brandon Nakashima. And how decisive could this match be in the context of Group A at the Next Gen ATP Finals. Rune has galvanized himself to get off the mark. He has now won six of his past seven matches in which he also captured the Bergamo Challenger. The only stain in that span came with that defeat to Alcaraz. But Cerundolo was always going to be the wild card of this group given his appalling record outside clay. Nakashima will be no pushover as he has reliable baseline game and a tide of measure groundstrokes which can cause havoc to Rune’s defense. The American’s expressive backhand is also a shot that hardly ekes out unforced errors constantly. This should be a fun match of tennis and a very close one in the scoreline.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Brandon Nakashima in 5 Sets.
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