Andrey Rublev and Brandon Nakashima will square off on Wednesday night in the ATP San Diego second round.
Rublev will come to San Diego from Boston, where he took part in the Laver Cup, winning his match against Diego Schwartzman in that competition. The Russian has been in good form during the US hard court swing, most notably reaching the final in Cincinnati (lost to Zverev), although he suffered a disappointing exit in the US Open third round (lost 2-3 to Tiafoe).
Nakashima has already played a match in San Diego, claiming a 6-7 6-1 7-5 victory against Fabio Fognini. The young American is having a breakout season, rising almost 100 places in the ATP standings and currently sitting at a career high ranking of number 83. He reached finals in Los Cabos and Atlanta during July, but was a little bit shaky lately, losing some matches he should have probably won (Kudla, McDonald, Molcan).
This will be the first H2H meeting between the two players. Both should feel very comfortable on the hard courts in San Diego.
Rublev is clearly in another class right now, and it’s actually a bit surprising that he is priced as high as 1.40 against Nakashima. That’s probably because this will be his first match here, coming straight from Laver Cup, and it’s a smaller tournament.
But the Laver Cup was also in the US, albeit in Boston, and that’s quite far off from San Diego. But it’s the same country, and just a three hour time zone difference, that shouldn’t be an issue for a professional tennis player. And Rublev is quite famous for performing well in smaller events, against inferior opposition. He is quite reliable in that regard, so I think there is no valid reason for him to be priced anywhere above 1.25 – 1.30 at the max.
Nakashima is a good player, he’s performing pretty well right now, but he is a level below Rublev, and it’s also not like he is in the form of his life. He wasn’t particularly excellent against Fognini, who made a myriad of errors in the first round.
Both Rublev and Nakashima are pretty consistent players from which you generally know what to expect, so I don’t think there will e any surprises, and the Russian will eventually claim a reasonably comfortable win. I think there’s decent value in the odds, and a price of 1.40 is more than enough for me to attack as a singles bet. Prediction: Andrey Rublev – Brandon Nakashima 6-7 6-3 6-2.