The late-night ATP Los Cabos tournament is back, unofficially beginning the lead-up to the US Open as the first hard court tournament after Wimbledon. As always here at LWOT, we will be bringing you predictions for every match, including the six that kick off the tournament on Monday night, three of which can be found in a separate article. Who will win?
ATP Los Cabos Day 1 Predictions
Jurij Rodionov vs Sebastian Ofner
Head-to-head: Ofner 2-1 Rodionov
An Austrian derby here in the first round. Austrian No. 3 Jurij Rodionov, faces off with Austrian No. 4, Sebastian Ofner. Ofner, the older of the two, leads the head-to-head 2-1, although one was a retirement and the first match was in 2016, when Rodionov was only 17. Rodionov won the most recent meeting, beating Ofner in the final round of 2020 Roland Garros qualifying.
It is hard to assess Rodionov’s current form. He reached the semifinals of Stuttgart but was forced to retire from the match with injury. The 22-year-old hasn’t won a set since, though he will be hoping to break that streak against Ofner. Ofner’s results haven’t been as impressive recently as he has had to come from qualifying, but has been winning a good amount of matches, an 8-4 record throughout the grass season. Ofner’s recent results have been superior to Rodionov’s, who also still might be dealing with an injury.
Prediction: Ofner in 3
Brandon Nakashima vs J.J. Wolf
Head-to-head: first meeting
19-year-old Brandon Nakashima qualified for his first Wimbledon main draw in his last tournament, easily defeating Aleksandar Vukic and Ernests Gulbis and ending Viktor Troicki’s career. The American had a strong start to the season on the indoor hard portion of the Challenger Tour, making a semifinal in Quimper and then taking the title there next week. The choice to stay in Europe and play on clay instead of U.S. hard courts may have hurt his results a bit this year, but should pay off in the future.
This is Jeffrey John Wolf’s first match since he suffered a groin injury last November. The 22-year-old broke through in 2019, entering the Top 200 at the end of the year. He had good results last year too, winning two Challenger titles, but it is impossible to know what to expect from Wolf, playing his first match in more than eight months.
Prediction: Nakashima in 2
Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Denis Kudla
Head-to-head: Kudla 1-0 Kokkinakis
Kokkinakis, a finalist in Los Cabos from 2017, received a wild card to start here after being somewhat out of form, winning only one match since the French Open. The stat is kind of misleading, though, as he won a Challenger in Biella right before, and the losses include a third set tiebreak loss to Dan Evans and a retirement.
Denis Kudla enjoyed a successful grass season, reaching the final of the first Nottingham Challenger before qualifying to reach the third round at Wimbledon. Though grass is the American’s best surface, he has had hardcourt success already this season, reaching the final of the Orlando Challenger in April. Kudla won their only previous meeting, though that can be easily discounted as it was in 2015. Kudla is definitely the player on form here, so despite Kokkinakis’ previous success at Los Cabos, he should be the favorite.
Prediction: Kudla in 3
Main Photo from Getty.