Fixture: (WC) Stan Wawrinka vs (WC) Brandon Nakashima
Tournament: Cincinnati Open
Round: First Round (Round of 64)
Date: August 13, 2023
Venue: Cincinnati, USA
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Prize money: $6,600,000
Live telecast:- USA: Tennis Channel | UK: Amazon Prime | Australia: beIN Sports | Canada: TSN
Stan Wawrinka vs Brandon Nakashima preview
Stan Wawrinka opens his Cincinnati Open campaign against American Brandon Nakashima in an all-wildcard first-round clash.
Wawrinka has a 20-14 win-loss record this season following a final loss to Alexei Popyrin in Umag two weeks ago. Back from a long injury layoff, the 38-year-old is beginning to play some of the best tennis of his career. That was evident in his Hamburg run, which was his first ATP final since 2019 Antwerp.
The World No. 49 made back-to-back hardcourt quarterfinals at the start of the season, in Rotterdam and Montpellier before making the fourth round at Indian Wells. The Swiss has a 17-13 record at Cincinnati, where he made the semifinals in 2012 and three other quarterfinals. He lost to Andy Murray in the opening round last year.
Meanwhile, the 74th-ranked Nakashima is 9-15 on the season following an opening-round loss at the ongoing Canadian Open. The 22-year-old American's best result on the ATP Tour in 2023 is a semifinal run in Lyon.
He has won only two of his last six matches heading into the Cincinnati Open, where he's yet to open his account after two matches. Nakashima lost to Aslan Karatsev in the opening round last year, a year after losing in the same round to compatriot Mackenzie McDonald, also in straight sets.
Stan Wawrinka vs Brandon Nakashima head-to-head
Wawrinka won the pair's lone meeting in the Basel second round last year in straight sets. This will be their second clash on hardcourt and their first outdoors.
Stan Wawrinka vs Brandon Nakashima odds
(Odds will be updated when available)
Stan Wawrinka vs Brandon Nakashima prediction
Both Wawrinka and Nakashima are quintessential baseliners and have similar game styles: big serve, powerful hitting off either flank, and good movement.
Wawrinka's signature single-handed backhand is a high-percentage shot but can wreak real damage if he finds depth and pace. The three-time Grand Slam champion also takes the edge because of his superior experience and pedigree, especially on hardcourt, where he has a 324-190 record and nine titles. Meanwhile, Nakashima is 51-37 on the surface, winning one title.
On paper, it's a mismatch, but Wawrinka's inconsistency means Nakashima will fancy his chances. Nevertheless, considering the American's recent underwhelming form, expect Wawrinka to take the win.
Pick: Wawrinka to win in straight sets.