Andrey Rublev is the top seed at the 2021 San Diego Open.
Andrey Rublev will lead a strong field at the inaugural San Diego Open, scheduled to be played in San Diego, California from 27 September to 3 October.
The San Diego Open is an ATP 250 event with a field of 28 players and total prize money of $600,000. The event was introduced to make up for the tournaments that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the main draw action set to kick off on Monday, here’s a look at how things could play out for the top seeds in the fray.
Top Half: Andrey Rublev primed for another deep run, Denis Shapovalov looks to rebound from early losses
Denis Shapovalov will be looking to turn his season around at the San Diego Open following a string of early losses.
Expected semifinal: Andrey Rublev vs Denis Shapovalov
Dark horse: Lloyd Harris
After a first-round bye, top seed Andrey Rublev will open his campaign against either Fabio Fognini or San Diego native Brandon Nakashima. The Russian has posted consistent results throughout the year, having won a title and reached three finals. He also won Olympic gold in mixed doubles with compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Considering his recent form, Rublev should have very little trouble making the semifinals.
Sixth seed Diego Schwartzman faces a qualifier in the opening round, but a stern second-round test may await him in the form of Lloyd Harris. The South African has improved by leaps and bounds and has defeated three top-10 players this year, including Rafael Nadal. The winner of that clash will likely face off against Rublev in the last eight.
Elsewhere in the top half, fourth seed Denis Shapovalov will be looking to turn his season around after a string of early losses. The Canadian reached his maiden semifinal at Wimbledon, but lost his opening matches in the next three events he played. He ended his losing streak at the US Open by reaching the third round.
Shapovalov will open his campaign against either Taylor Fritz or a qualifier. The Canadian is projected to meet eighth seed Daniel Evans in the quarterfinals, but Cameron Norrie, who is also in this section of the draw, will look to throw a spanner in the works.
Bottom Half: Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime lead a packed bottom half in San Diego
Casper Ruud is the highest seed in the bottom half of the San Diego Open.
Seeded players: (2) Casper Ruud, (3) Felix Auger-Aliassime, (5) Hubert Hurkacz and (7) Cristian Garin
Expected semifinal: Casper Ruud vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Dark Horse: Andy Murray
Casper Ruud has won four titles this year, but they’ve all been on clay. He would like to prove his pedigree on hardcourts as well, but he won’t have an easy start in San Diego. He’ll launch his campaign against either Andy Murray or Kei Nishikori.
Both Murray and Nishikori have been on the comeback trail for the better part of the season and are trying to get used to the daily grind of the tour. Murray recently made the quarterfinals of the Moselle Open and his steady progress should give him the confidence he needs when he takes on the Japanese.
Seventh seed Cristian Garin will play Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round and the winner of this match will face off against the winner of the all-American battle between Tommy Paul and Sebastian Korda for a place in the last eight.
Felix Auger-Aliassime will aim to finally get his hands on the winner’s trophy in San Diego after eight runner-up finishes.
Meanwhile, third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime will be looking to finally get his hands on an ATP trophy, having lost all of the previous eight finals he’s contested. The Canadian will open against the winner of the Grigor Dimitrov–Marton Fucsovics match, before a potential quarterfinal clash with fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz.
However, for the Pole to reach the quarterfinals, he’ll have to get past a qualifier in the first round and possibly Aslan Karatsev in the second round. Hurkacz has been playing well over the last few months and should be able to make the last eight in San Diego.
Predictions for the semifinal
Andrey Rublev def. Cameron Norrie
Felix Auger-Aliassime def. Andy Murray