San Diego Open men's tennis tournament begins Saturday at Barnes Tennis Center

San Diego Open men’s tennis tournament begins Saturday at Barnes Tennis Center

The San Diego Open begins Saturday at Barnes Tennis Center. It is one of six US ATP 250 US tournaments, the lowest tier on the main tour. It’s the second ever in San Diego, following last year’s debut.

Purses and points: $612,000, including $93,090 for champion; 250 points in ATP rankings.

When: Qualifying, Saturday-Sunday; Main draw, Monday-Sept. 25. Final Singles, 5 p.m., Sept. 25.

Where: Barnes Tennis Center, with bleachers added for 2,000 center court seats and 500 on adjacent court.

Field: 28 single players; 16 double teams.

Top 20 players: From eight last year, there are none this time. Last year’s tournament benefited from being a week ahead of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, then rescheduled because of the pandemic. The Indian Wells event moved back to its traditional spring schedule this year.

Notable incoming: Heading the field is 25th-ranked Daniel Evans, of Great Britain, followed by No. 50 Jenson Brooksby (Sacramento) and No. 68 Brandon Nakashima (San Diego).

Last year’s champion: Norway’s Casper Ruud reached the finals of the French Open and US Open this year.

Tourney twins: This tournament comes two weeks earlier than it did last year, now following the US Open’s conclusion by just a week. This adjustment allows for the addition of a WTA tournament also known as the San Diego Open at the Barnes Center, Oct. 8-16.

Wild cards: Japan’s Kei Nishikori, ranked fourth in 2015, comes off hip surgery in his first tournament since October. Another former top 10 player is Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, 38, who played in 67 Grand Slams into 2020. Also vying is Brandon Holt, the son of former top-ranked WTA player Tracy Austin.

Local corner: Nakashima, 21, once ranked as high as 49th, reached the third round in this year’s US Open. Point Loma High alum Keegan Smith competes in qualifying as part of his comeback from a skull fracture resulting from a skateboarding accident early last year. He was a three-time All-American at UCLA. And 19-year-old Zachary Svajda of San Diego, a two-time Boys 18 national champion, was given a wild card into the main draw.

Qualifying: Four players will advance from qualifying into the main draw.

Tickets: Prices range from $20 qualifying to $60 and higher for the last weekend. VIP options are also available.

Car park: $20 advance online or $25 on location at South Shores Park, near Sea World, with shuttle to site. VIP parking only at tourney site.

Television: Tennis Channel has live coverage slated of the final and one of the semifinals to be determined. Earlier in the week, there will be intermittent coverage mixed with other tournaments around the world.

Online: barnessdopen.com

Thien is a freelance writer.

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