ATP San Diego Day 3 Predictions Including Andrey Rublev vs Brandon Nakashima

Lloyd Harris in action ahead of the ATP San Diego Open.
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The action at the ATP San Diego Open will continue on day three with four matches on the schedule in California. As always, we here at LWOT are offering our predictions for every match on the slate. But who will pick up a valuable win ahead of the ATP Indian Wells Masters and who will fall to the disappointment of defeat?

ATP San Diego Day 3 Predictions

Kevin Anderson vs Daniel Evans

Head-to-head: Anderson 2-0 Evans

Kevin Anderson result at the recently concluded US Open, where he crashed out in the first round, and at the ATP Cincinnati Masters fell short of expectations. He did, however, win his first title since 2019 in Newport. That was not enough to earn him direct entry into the ATP San Diego Open, with Anderson falling to a surprise defeat to Alex Bolt in the final round of qualifying before being handed a reprieve as a lucky loser.

His opponent Dan Evans has also been having a rather rough time on the US hard courts this year. He suffered first-round defeats in Washington, Toronto and Cincinnati, although he did bounce back to reach the fourth round at the US Open, where he lost to eventual champion Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.

Anderson and Evans first played against each other over a decade ago in 2009 at a Challenger when both were trying to make their way in tennis. Anderson has carved out the more impressive legacy since, but Evans comes into this match the higher-ranked man and in better form. It is true that Anderson should never be written off on faster courts, but he is not the player he once was. If Evans can contain Anderson’s powerful serve, the Briton should have the beating of him off the ground.

Prediction: Evans in 3
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Hubert Hurkacz vs Alex Bolt

Head-to-head: Bolt 2-0 Hurkacz

Hubert Hurkacz is coming into the match fresh from a title triumph at the ATP Metz Open. It was his third title of the season.  With a great serve and solid groundstrokes, Hurkacz has the perfect game for hard court tennis and last time out he didn’t even drop a set in his run to the final. He is seeded fifth this week – a reflection of the stacked draw in San Diego – but he is still surely one of the favourites to take the title here.

Alex Bolt, meanwhile, has established himself as a consistent player on the Challenger Tour, but he has mustered only a few notable results at tour-level – a third-round showing in Melbourne in 2019 aside – and has reached just two ATP quarterfinals. That said, his win over former-world #5 Anderson in the final round of qualifying will have boosted his confidence.

As will his somewhat surprising 2-0 head-to-head lead over Hurkacz. However, both victories came at Challenger-level back in 2018. Hurkacz was much earlier in his development then and his level was nowhere close to where it is today. It is a slight concern that Hurkacz has had relatively little turnaround time since winning the title in Metz, but expect him to get his revenge all the same. He might get off to a slow start, but at the end of the day, Hurkacz should be too good for Bolt.

Prediction: Hurkacz in 2
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Andrey Rublev vs Brandon Nakashima

Head-to-head: first meeting

Andrey Rublev will not at all be satisfied with his US Open performance, where he crashed out in the third round, where a quarterfinal-showing was surely the very least he expected of himself. But he bounced back from that disappointment as part of Europe’s Laver Cup winning team where he won the deciding match against Diego Schwartzman. The top seed this week, the Russian is surely one of the favourites to take the title.

But he may have his work cut out for him here. Brandon Nakashima has made impressive strides this season, at least on hard courts. He has great accuracy from the baseline, and likes to take charge of play. The American isn’t fully a finished product game-wise, but he is certainly getting there. He has already beaten John Isner twice in the past few months, including at the US Open.

The pair haven’t met before, but this match may not be as one-sided as it looks likely to be on paper. Rublev has had a few disappointing results according to his standards and isn’t in the best of form. If Nakashima can keep his errors to a minimum early on, he could certainly make things interesting. Ultimately though, although Nakashima may put on a good show, Rublev’s pedigree should see him safely through.

Prediction: Rublev in 3
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Lloyd Harris vs Diego Schwartzman

Head-to-head: Schwartzman 1-0 Harris

Lloyd Harris, despite his solid run of form, may well have accomplished more than he expected to by reaching the US Open quarterfinals, beating Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov and Reilly Opelka en route. However, not unlike his lookalike Stefanos Tsitsipas, Harris’ swashbuckling attacking game can sometimes see him make far too many errors and was extended to three sets in the first round by Christopher Eubanks for that reason. Up against a player of Schwartzman’s quality, he won’t stand a chance against if he keeps making errors.

The Argentine was clinical in his first-round match against the qualifier Federico Gaio. He defended superbly throughout the match, with his opponent simply running out of steam. This is a tricky match for Schwartzman. The big serving South African, with his ruthless game, will be eager to get something out if his campaign here. But of course, Schwartzman isn’t here to lose in the second round. If he can bring his best level, he should advance.

Still, this may well be the closest match-up of the day. Schwartzman leads their head-to-head having beaten Harris in their only previous meeting at the Australian Open last season. Harris has made considerable strides since then, but then so too has Schwartzman. And in a match that looks likely to go the distance, it is hard not to back the fitter and mentally stronger player. That is surely Schwartzman.

Prediction: Schwartzman in 3

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