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Atlanta Open 2021: Milos Raonic vs Brandon Nakashima preview, head-to-head & prediction

Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic
ANALYST

Match details

Fixture: (1) Milos Raonic vs Brandon Nakashima

Date: 28 July 2021

Tournament: Truist Atlanta Open 2021

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Atlanta, United States

Category: ATP 250

Surface: Outdoor hard

Prize money: $555,995

Match timing: Not before 7 pm local time, 4.30 am IST, 11 pm GMT

Live telecast: USA - ESPN & Tennis Channel

Milos Raonic vs Brandon Nakashima preview

Top seed Milos Raonic will open his 2021 Atlanta Open campaign with a second-round encounter against American Brandon Nakashima on Wednesday.

Raonic suffered a calf injury early in the season that sidelined him for the last few months. The big-serving Canadian accepted a last-minute wildcard into the tournament in Atlanta and will be hoping to make a deep run. Against Los Cabos finalist Nakashima, though, he faces a tricky opening test.

Brandon Nakashima
Brandon Nakashima

Nakashima strung together a strong run in the Mexican city last week, taking out the likes of John Isner, Jordan Thompson and Sam Querrey en route to the summit clash.

And while the American came up short in the final against Cameron Norrie, there were plenty of positives for him to take away from his campaign.

Milos Raonic vs Brandon Nakashima head-to-head

This will be the first career meeting between Milos Raonic and Brandon Nakashima, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.

Milos Raonic vs Brandon Nakashima prediction

Raonic will be hopeful of a winning return.
Raonic will be hopeful of a winning return.

Milos Raonic will be the favorite on paper heading into this second-round contest. His powerful serve and heavy groundstrokes should work well in quick conditions in Atlanta, but he will still need to be wary of the in-form Nakashima.

Nakashima can go toe-to-toe with the Canadian from the back of the court. If anything, his match fitness and footspeed should give him the edge over the top seed.

The key for Nakashima will be to get returns back into play and engage in long baseline rallies. His beatdown of Isner in Los Cabos shows he can neutralize big servers, and that will hold him in good stead against Raonic.

Prediction: Brandon Nakashima to win in three sets

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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