The indoor swing continues this week in Basel, Switzerland. Roger Federer is the defending champion at the Swiss Indoors Basel.
ATP Basel Draw Preview
Roger Federer leads the field as the defending champion and number one seed this week in Basel. Federer has won the title in Basel three of the last five years and six times overall. Stan Wawrinka is the two seed with Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson rounding out the top four. No one comes close to Federer's experience at this tournament with Federer having played 65 matches at this event over the years. The next most among the top eight seeds is Wawrinka with 20 and he is just 9-11 overall.
The back half of the seeds includes Richard Gasquet at number five followed by John Isner, Marin Cilic and David Goffin. Goffin was a finalist last year, losing to Federer 6-2, 6-2. Gasquet has the best track record of those seeds with a 7-4 mark. He made the semifinals in 2012 as his best finish. All of that pales in comparison to Roger Federer's pedigree at this tournament. The Swiss' results at this tournament are beyond ridiculous. He has not missed a final in Basel in the last nine years. That makes him the favorite by leaps and bounds to win this week.
Federer's quarter has him seeded to get a rematch with eighth-seeded David Goffin in the quarterfinals. Federer will have a few tests along the way. He opens against Mikhail Kukushkin. A win there would pit the Swiss against either Jerzy Janowicz or Philipp Kohlschreiber. Janowicz looked okay in Vienna last week and worked through qualifying in Basel. He owns just one win in three tries against the German, but it did come indoors in Paris in 2012. Kohlschreiber is 0-10 against Federer. Janowicz is 0-1. The Swiss should get through.
In the bottom of the quarter, Goffin should ease into action with a first round match against Andreas Seppi. A win sees him going up against either Viktor Troicki or Adrian Mannarino. Troicki looked completely off in losing to Teymuraz Gabashvili last week in Moscow. Mannarino snuck through qualifying, but often struggles to perform in these bigger events. Troicki is tough to like after last week, but he has the better indoor pedigree historically. Goffin has had his problems indoors since last year's Basel final. He is just 2-3 on tour, but does have three Davis Cup wins indoors in the last 12 months. He's the class of this part of the quarter. but his form could leave him open to an upset.
Kevin Anderson leads his quarter as the fourth seed with John Isner opposite of him as the sixth seed. There are three other Americans in this quarter with Donald Young to play Swiss local Henri Laaksonen and Denis Kudla and Jack Sock to square off against each other. For Anderson, he draws Borna Coric to open. Anderson won their only previous match at Winston-Salem this summer in straight sets. The winner faces the Young-Laaksonen victor. Anderson made the quarters the only year he played Basel in 2012. He should be good for the quarters with this draw.
Isner in one of tennis' twists of fate gets a quick shot at redemption against Ernests Gulbis to open this week. Gulbis beat Isner in three sets last week in Vienna. Since this time last year, Isner is just 2-4 on indoor hard courts. He could be an upset victim again. If Gulbis doesn't get him again, it could be the winner of Kudla vs Sock. Sock will have to overcome a quick turnaround from his loss in the Stockholm final to Tomas Berdych, but he has the form to make another run. Whether fatigue gets him or not is an entirely different question.
Third seed Rafael Nadal leads one half of this quarter with seventh seed Marin Cilic in the other. Nadal did well on the Asian swing in Beijing and Shanghai to help lock up a spot in the ATP Tour Finals. This week in Basel is another redemption story. It was in Basel last year that Borna Coric took down Nadal in the quarterfinals to end his season. Nadal was well under 100 percent last year to finish the season and will be looking to make amends. He opens with Lukas Rosol whom he has beaten twice since the 2012 Wimbledon shocker that saw Rosol take him down in the second round. The winner faces either Grigor Dimitrov or Sergiy Stakhovsky. Dimitrov has made the quarterfinals three straight years in Basel and could be a dark horse in this quarter.
Cilic battles Swiss wild card Marco Chuidinelli to start his Basel campaign. Cilic is in solid form after winning the title in Moscow in an indoor setting this past week. He could well back that up with another deep run in this draw. A win would get him a shot at either Teymuraz Gabashvili or Leonardo Mayer. As long as Cilic is able to maintain his hot serving, there is no reason not to like him to at least make the quarterfinals in this quarter. He should have a good shot to maybe make it a step farther to the semifinals.
Stan Wawrinka has a difficult draw with Ivo Karlovic to start. Wawrinka is 5-1 against Karlovic, but their most recent meeting in Cincinnati this summer required a third set tiebreak. Karlovic performed well here last year in making the semifinals where he lost to Federer in three. Wawrinka has lost his first match in Basel three years running and this could be the fourth. The survivor of that one will face the winner of Dusan Lajovic vs Alexandr Dolgopolov. Dolgopolov is 0-5 since making the semifinals at the Cincinnati Masters. Lajovic is through qualifying this week and he could grab a win in this spot.
In the other half of the quarter, Gasquet is the seed as the number five. He faces Jiri Vesely to start. Gasquet made the semifinals in Stockholm last week. but was pummeled 6-4, 6-2 by Jack Sock. Vesely wasn't bad in Vienna as he took Kevin Anderson to a third set before losing. The winner sees either Dominic Thiem or Robin Haase in round two. Haase has two wins over Thiem in their careers. This quarter as a whole could go many different ways. Small edge to Gasquet on form, but upsets could rule here.
Semifinals: Federer def. Sock, Cilic def. Gasquet
Final: Federer def. Cilic