ATP Basel: Rough day for seeds

Tuesday was not kind to the seeded players, as most of them were given stern tests in their opening matches, with not all of them surviving.

ATP Basel: Rough day for seeds
Grigor Dimitrov reacts to losing a point two weeks ago in Shanghai. Photo: Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

A full slate of first round matches on Tuesday in Basel resulted in some drama at the Swiss Indoors. Two seeded players were sent packing in their opening matches while the tournament favourite was given a serious scare. Here’s what happened on a wild day two in Basel.

Results

Stan Wawrinka was given all he could handle in his opening match against countryman Marco Chiudinelli. The top seed dropped the opening set before rallying to take the last two, narrowly claiming the all-Swiss affair in three sets. Check out the full recap here. Second seed Milos Raonic wasn’t so lucky. For the fourth time in his last five tournaments, the Canadian was unable to maintain the lead after winning the opening set and crashed out in three. Some strong serving from qualifier Ricardas Berankis kept Raonic at bay in the second and third sets as the qualifier went on to score a three-set victory. Check out the full recap here.

Gilles Muller hits a forehand during his upset win. Photo: Swiss Indoors
Gilles Muller hits a forehand during his upset win. Photo: Swiss Indoors

Another upset saw sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov also fail to hold the momentum after winning the opening set, eventually falling in three sets to the hard-serving Gilles Muller. A tight first set that saw Muller save five break points eventually went to Dimitrov in a wild tiebreak 11-9. Muller seemed to be in deep trouble when he was broken to start the third set, but roared back to break twice and win five of the last six games to level the match. In the decider, the man from Luxembourg saved three break points before making his move at the perfect moment. Serving to stay in the match at 4-5, Dimitrov found himself down 15-40. He was only able to save one match point as Muller broke to seal the 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4 comeback upset.

David Goffin has an opportunity to reach the qualifying zone for the ATP World Tour Finals this week and got off to a strong start in Basel, dispatching Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets. The Belgian broke to start the match and never looked back, riding that break through the opening set. Goffin nearly repeated the feat in the second set, but Baghdatis saved the break point in the opening game. The Cypriot had the rest of the chances in the set, but could not convert any of his three break points. A tiebreak was needed and Goffin took his chance, claiming the lone minibreak to take a 3-1 lead and never giving it back, hanging on for a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory.

David Goffin pumps his fist. Photo: Kevin Lee/Getty Images
David Goffin pumps his fist. Photo: Kevin Lee/Getty Images

Earlier in the day, Marcel Granollers battled past home hope Henri Laaksonen in three sets to get his campaign underway. A flurry of breaks early in the first ended with the Spaniard in the lead and he hung on to take the opener. Laaksonen responded by taking a 5-1 lead in the second before eventually forcing a decider, in which he was broken twice as Granollers hung on for the victory. Joining him in the second round is Paolo Lorenzi, who took down Nicolas Mahut in straight sets. A break in the opening game was all Lorenzi needed to take the first set, but after getting another early break in the second, Mahut battled back, saving a match point before breaking and forcing a tiebreak. But the Italian was not to be denied, taking the tiebreak to book his place in the second round.

In other action, Florian Mayer needed three sets to put away Benoit Paire. The German dominated the opener, only to drop the second in a tiebreak. A break midway through the third set was enough as Mayer hung on for victory. The first round will be completed tomorrow.