The ATP San Diego Open continues in its magnificent setting near the bay at the Barnes Tennis Center. It’s the final ATP event of the year to be hosted in the United States, with many Americans hoping for a strong performance in front of their home crowd in the draw. The field is big and many talented players have a real shot at capturing the title. We’re predicting all six games here at Last Word on Tennis on a busy Thursday in San Diego.
ATP San Diego day 4 predictions
Alejandro Tabilo vs Constant Lestienne
Head to head: 1-0 Tabilo
Tabilo had a strong season and started off strong, qualifying for the Australian Open, beating Lestienne en route. Lestienne has racked up a lot more wins than Tabilo lately, although he’s mostly played in Challenger Tour events while Tabilo has spent his time on the Main Tour. Tabilo is a good clay court player and this year has secured a majority of his wins on the surface. Lestienne is much better on hard and will be comfortable on the San Diego courts. This match will be tight, but while Tabilo is slightly better, Lestienne will be able to end a long match and exploit Tabilo’s surface weaknesses to win a tight match.
Prediction: Lestienne in 3
JJ Wolf vs. Christopher O’Connell
Head to head: first date
Wolf really has started to break out that year, and had solid results on the Fall Hard Court Swing highlighted by reach the third round In the US Open and a career-best win over Denis Shapovalov in Washington.
O’Connell is a grinder who’s spent a lot of time on tour and will give any player a fight, but doesn’t quite have the skills to get to the top. He’s a cheap matchup for Wolf, who plays a similar game to the Aussie but with more firepower. Wolf has the youth and the talent on his side and will be strong from the start. He’ll be able to hit the key shots O’Connell can’t handle and throw enough at the Aussie to create a convincing lead early on and continue that throughout the game.
Prediction: Wolf in 2
Jenson Brooksby vs. Mackenzie McDonald
Head to head: 1-0 Brooksby
This will be a rematch from another American hard-court event in 2022, which Brooksby won in straight sets in Atlanta. McDonald, after a successful collegiate career in America, has shown some promise with his talents and defense on tour, but has struggled to climb the rankings lately. Brooksby did the opposite. The 21-year-old made the top 50, aided by a strong baseline defensive game that frustrates even the best players on the tour.
Brooksby is an excellent young player, fresh to San Diego having not played since the US Open. McDonald looked good in his first-round match, also his first since the US Open, but faces a far tougher challenge in Brooksby. Brooksby looks like a potential future star, and his groundstrokes and defense are strong enough where McDonald just doesn’t have the tools to beat him. Brooksby will be in control throughout the game and secure a convincing win.
Prognosis: Brooksby in Q2
Main photo by Getty.