The ATP San Diego Open has reached halfway stage, and the action hasn’t failed to entertain us. The top seeds enter the fray today, for some exciting fourth round action. Who do you think will make it to the quarterfinals? We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article.
ATP San Diego Day 4 Predictions
Cameron Norrie vs Daniel Evans
Head-to-head: Norrie 4-3 Evans
Cameron Norrie took just over an hour and a half to sweep past Dominik Koepfer in his first-round match. He was playing superbly in the first set, keeping the error count low, as he broke Koepfer twice to bag it in 34 minutes. However, his service failed him in the second set. Koepfer was serving for the second set at 5-4, when Norrie turned it around. His fearless shot-making on crunch points is a big positive to take home for Norrie.
In his first-round match, Daniel Evans met a tough opponent in Kevin Anderson. Though Norrie won the match in straight sets at the end, it lasted for a staggering two hours. Evans should be pleased with himself for saving three set points in the first set, besides saving four out of four breakpoints in the match. Evans won just three points more than Anderson, but that shows that he made each point count. Evans should be high on confidence after his performance here.
The all-British pair have contested seven matches before, though five of the matches have come at exhibition tournaments. Therefore, their head-to-head stands leveled at 1-1 effectively. After Andy Murray fell out of the top, Evans took the spot of the British #1. For some time now, Norrie has been chasing Evans for that spot. Though Evans is still ranked higher, they are closer than ever before, and Norrie will be willing to push extra-hard to take that spot. If he can continue his efficient display of tennis, it is hard not to see Norrie as the winner of this clash. Nevertheless, it will be a great battle of the Brits.
Prediction: Norrie in 3
Lorenzo Sonego vs Sebastian Korda
Head-to-head: Sonego 1-1 Korda
Lorenzo Sonego cruised past Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets to book a spot in the second round. It was not at all an easy match for Sonego, but it goes to his credit that he made it look easy. It was a clinical serving performance from Sonego, as he banged 12 aces and comfortably saved the two breakpoints he faced in the whole match.
Sebastian Korda is fast rising as the next big thing for America. With each win he proves that he is not a one match wonder, but here to stay. In his first round match against countryman Tommy Paul, he successfully managed to fend off a comeback. Korda served well, hitting nine aces, and was broken only once from eight chances. But against Sonego, he cannot afford to give so many opportunities.
The duo have played two matches before, both winning one. Sonego will be the favorite here, owing to a higher rank and below-par Korda. It will surely be a close match, and after his incredible display of mental endurance in Rome, I back him to win three-setters more often than not. Korda is no pushover, but is he good enough? Not yet, I feel.
Prediction: Sonego in 3
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Grigor Dimitrov
Head-to-head: Auger-Aliassime 2-0 Dimitrov
Felix Auger-Aliassime comes into the match after making the semifinals at the US Open. Auger-Aliassime was probably the least hyped and least celebrated semifinalist of the four. He is by far the most underrated NextGen player right now, at least on hard courts. His successes on hard courts can be attributed to his serve mainly–he was averaging close to 20 aces per match at the US Open. His superb aggressive game is aided by the killer forehand. Auger-Aliassime is one of the firm favorites to take the title here.
Grigor Dimitrov had a difficult test scheduled for the first round, against Marton Fucsovics. He won the 2 hour match in the deciding set. Considering his current form, Dimitrov should be happy that he came through against such a solid opponent. It is visible that his fitness levels have dropped a bit, and the next match is going to be very taxing for him.
The head-to-head is lead by Auger-Aliassime 2-0. Dimitrov has to hope for a miracle if he wants to advance here. Though he lost the second set, there were some glimpses that reminded us of the old Dimitrov. The mouthwatering backhand down-the-line winner or the beautiful forehand cross court is really what he needs today, and what his fans love him for. He has to play an extremely attacking game, and hope that the errors don’t creep in. Only then does he stand a chance here. Without that, Felix is just waiting to get going and blast opponents off the court.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
Main Photo from Getty.