Day 2 of the ATP San Diego event in California promises to be a treat, with an absolute blockbuster of a first round match in store for us. Former World #1 Andy Murray will take on former World #3 Kei Nishikori. Not only is this match great but the whole draw and field look amazing for an ATP 250.
ATP San Diego Day 2 Predictions
Lorenzo Sonego vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Just when you think both these men have their careers somewhat figured out with a few good runs back-to-back, they suddenly lose form and turn into journeymen who win as many matches as they lose. Perhaps that’s not surprising, though. Both men have huge games where when it’s firing it works and when it’s not then it’s horrible to watch for obvious reasons. Right now there’s no doubt the Italian is in a worse patch than his opponent though with three losses in his last four matches with two of those three being against players outside the top 100. Given just two months ago Basilashvili got the better of Sonego at the Olympics in three sets on a similar enough surface, the same may well happen here.
Prediction: Basilashvili in 3
Grigor Dimitrov vs Marton Fucsovics
Head-to-head: Fucsovics 2-0
To say 2021 has been a disappointing year for Dimitrov would be an understatement. Ranked barely inside the Top 30 right now, it’s sad to see the player many once thought would be a huge star slumping and practically losing to everyone. No doubt injuries have had a lot to play but even despite being fit the last few months the level is nowhere near where it was a few years ago. Fucsovics is the type of player that when you’re not in form you would want to avoid as he’s quite honestly being solid all-round and won’t beat himself. Despite the surprising head-to-head between the pair Fucsovics has lost his last three matches in tour so there’s a big chance for the Bulgarian here to get the win.
Prediction: Dimitrov in 3
Andy Murray vs Kei Nishikori
Head-to-head: Murray 9-2
It’s absolutely crazy to think this could be a first round match at an ATP 250 event given all both have achieved during their careers. Let’s not sugar coat it, however–both are far away from the players they once were, and their results this year only highlight that. Nishikori has strung some nice results together here and there although not as often as he would like. And to be fair, Murray has been playing some of his best tennis in a while in random matches over the last few months. Back in the day Murray used to pretty much own the Japanese, which isn’t too surprising given his variety could break him down and Nishikori’s poor serve would never get him enough free points to get the better of the Scot. This is a really hard one to call. Nishikori has been the better of the two for a while and off the ground I think that will pay dividends here.
Prediction: Nishikori in 3
Main Photo from Getty.