Four seeds opened their campaigns in Basel on Tuesday. Top seed Roger Federer put on a clinic for the Swiss fans as he moved through quickly to the second round. Others like Richard Gasquet and David Goffin needed three sets to dispatch of tricky opponents.
Top seed Roger Federer won his opener easily over Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-2. The six-time Basel champion broke Kukushkin twice in each set and saw at least one break chance in six of the seven service games from his opponent. Federer was humming along on serve on the quick indoor service as he tallied five aces and won 32 of 39 points on serve. He did have to save two break points. Both came in the first set and the Swiss maestro was able to fight them off both times. The win runs his record in Basel to 57-9 all-time dating back to 1998 when Federer was a 17-year old. Coincidentally, that is the only year he lost in the opening round in Basel. That came at the hands of Andre Agassi.
Other Seeds Advance To Round Two
Fifth seed Richard Gasquet won a back and forth affair with Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4. Gasquet was not broken in the match and pounded out 13 aces in the win. After failing to convert four break points earlier in the final set, the Frenchman finally broke through with a break of the Czech's serve to close out the match. Sixth seed John Isner exacted his revenge on Ernests Gulbis for an upset loss in Vienna last week. The American had an easier time of it Tuesday as he erased Gulbis from the draw with a 6-3, 6-4 win. Isner tallied 19 aces and won 41 of his 48 service points.
Eighth seed David Goffin overcame a sluggish start to defeat Andreas Seppi 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Goffin struggled with his serve in the opening set as he won just 42 percent of the points and was broken three times. The Belgian turned the tables on the Italian quickly in the second set as he broke Seppi's first two service games. He would break Seppi to open the third set as well, but would find himself back on even terms by the eighth game at 4-4 after dropping serve. Goffin finished strong however with another break in the next game and the closed out the set and match on serve. Seppi really struggled in the final set with his serve as he gave Goffin nine break chances with the Belgian able to convert just two. That however was good enough to push last year's Basel finalist through to the next round.
In other action, Grigor Dimitrov got off to a winning start with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Sergiy Stakhovsky. The Bulgarian was superb on serve as he won 41 of 50 points and did not let Stakhovsky see a single break chance. Dimitrov converted on two of seven break chances he saw with a single break deciding each set. Philipp Kohlschreiber needed three sets to get rid of qualifier Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Kohlschreiber scored the decisive break in the third set in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead. He would lose just a single point on his last three service games to close out the match. Dusan Lajovic also advanced out of the first round when Alexandr Dolgopolov retired in the second set of their match. Lajovic led 6-4, 2-0 when Dolgopolov threw in the towel due to an ankle injury.
Day Three Schedule
Second-seeded Stan Wawrinka sees action for the first time as he opens play against Ivo Karlovic in a tough first round match. Other seeds opening their weeks in Basel on Wednesday are Marin Cilic who starts with Marco Chiudinelli and Kevin Anderson pitted against Borna Coric. Third seed Rafael Nadal plays a second round match against Grigor Dimitrov with 8th seed David Goffin also in second round play versus Adrian Mannarino.