Rublev crushes Nakashima, Bolt beaten

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Top-seed Andrey Rublev broke to begin each set in overpowering wild-card entry Brandon Nakashima 6-2 6-1 in the second round of the San Diego Open.

Rublev, fresh off helping Team Europe win the Laver Cup exhibition in Boston, used big forehands to take control of points from the baseline on Wednesday.

"Since the beginning, I was thinking I need to be the one who's going to dominate. I need to try to take my forehand and try to dictate," said Rublev, the 23-year-old Russian who is ranked No.5 and has been to four grand slam quarter-finals.

Rublev improved to 45-15 in 2021. He had a first-round bye at the hard-court tournament that was a late addition to the ATP calendar to make up for the cancellation of the tour's Asian swing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This was the first match against a top-20 opponent for Nakashima, a 20-year-old from San Diego who is ranked 83rd.

Next up for Rublev is a match against either No.6 seed Diego Schwartzman or Lloyd Harris.

No.5 Hubert Hurkacz and No.8 Dan Evans were seeded winners earlier in the day.

Hurkacz, who won singles and doubles titles at Metz, France, last week, defeated Australian qualifier Alex Bolt 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 while Evans eliminated two-time grand-slam finalist Kevin Anderson 7-6 (13-11) 7-5.

In Evans' victory, 22 points in a row were won by the server from 3-all to 6-all in the opening set. Then, in the tiebreaker, it was Anderson who nosed ahead and held set points at 6-5 and 7-6 but failed to convert.

Anderson, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the US Open in 2017 and to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2018, got a third chance to close out the set when ahead 11-10 but again came up short. Eventually, Evans took it on his fourth set point.

"A little fortunate to come through that one," Evans said.

Evans, who is ranked a career-high 22nd, now faces 28th-ranked Cam Norrie in an all-British matchup.

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