2017 Los Cabos champion Sam Querrey enters his first round matchup with Brandon Nakashima as a somewhat surprising underdog. According to the oddsmakers, the No. 4 seed is +137 to win the match and projected to lose by two total games.

The courts aren’t as conducive to Querrey’s game; the American clearly enjoys a surface that rewards first-strike tennis and, especially in a later stage of his career, shorter points.

As for Nakashima, set aside a minor hiccup when attempting to serve out the match against J.J. Wolf on Monday and he was otherwise rock solid throughout the 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, victory. The extremely slow and gritty courts are perfect for his steady game and larger than average forehand take back.

According to UTR’s new predictive analytics tool, this match is a complete toss-up. Both Nakashima and Querrey share a UTR rating of 14.91. The oddsmakers have accounted for this, and list the over/under game total at 23.5, the highest of any match on Wednesday.

Like so many of his matches, the end result will likely boil down to how well Querrey serves. Once engaged in a neutral rally, I believe Nakashima will have the clear advantage.

Nakashima rarely misses his two-handed backhand and hits his forehand with excellent shape and accuracy.


Please keep any plays on the small side, as this match could go either way. But in the end, look for Nakashima’s ability to remain solid and maneuver the ball around the court to pay dividends.

The Pick: Brandon Nakashima