San Diego | Nakashima and Giron in All-American final

Californian residents will be delighted at witnessing an All-American final for the San Diego Open title, only the fourth of this year’s season and only the sixth between compatriots in 2022.

It feels amazing. It's the first final that I've made this year and no better place to do it than in my hometown San Diego Brandon Nakashima

The favourite is local boy Brandon Nakashima, the 21-year-old from San Diego who takes on a fellow Californian the 29-year-old Marcos Giron, from Thousand Oaks and the pair will battle for their maiden title as professional players.

Nakashima defeated Australian Christopher O’Connell 6-4 7-6(3) in his semi-final while Giron took out Britain’s No.1, the top seed, Dan Evans 6-3 7-5.

“It feels amazing. It’s the first final that I’ve made this year and no better place to do it than in my hometown San Diego,” Nakashima said following his one-hour and 51-minute victory.

“I’m really excited about it. Obviously, I’ve had a great week. I feel confident with my game right now and I’m looking forward to [the final] tomorrow.”

Looking back at his semi-final win, the fifth seed added:

“Going into it I knew I had to serve well. That affects the rest of my game off the ground and my returns a little bit, too.

“I just tried to stay focussed one point at the time, tried to make as many first serves as possible and tried to be aggressive off the first ball, so I think I did that pretty well today.”

Meanwhile Giron, the third seed, produced the upset of the day by dispatching Evans in straight sets after one-hour and 41-minutes.

“It feels great. I played (him) twice and he’s beaten me twice, so I knew it was going to be a hell of a tough match, but I’m really happy with the way I played under pressure. That’s kind of why I’m here,” Giron, who underwent right hip surgery in 2015 and left hip surgery in 2016, said.

“I got to this point because yesterday [against James Duckworth] I saved multiple break points, I was down set points and the day before there were times I could have easily gone down, but I’ve been playing well under pressure and I keep doing that.”

In a battle between two players who enjoy long points at the back of the court, Giron proved the more aggressive competitor. He also hit 11 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-serve points, while showing a willingness to finish rallies at the net.

Sundays winner will be the fourth different American to lift an ATP Tour trophy this year after Taylor Fritz (2), Reilly Opelka (2) and Maxime Cressy (1).


Marcos Giron is also chasing his first title

Gary Payne/Getty Images




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