Sunday, 20 October 2013

ATP Basel, Valencia: Preview and Predictions

This week sees the hunt for the final few places at the World Tour Finals hot up with Basel and Valencia to look forward too.  Let's take a look at the draws...

ATP Basel
Juan Martin del Potro
Basel's line-up was looking pretty mega at the start of the week, but notable withdrawals from Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic have weakened the line-up somewhat.  Juan Martin del Potro now headlines the draw and will open the tournament against Swiss wildcard, Henri Laaksonsen.  He could meet Marcos Baghdatis in the second round, which is an always tricky opponent for the Argentine.  Del Potro has won their two encounters this year, but both went the distance.  A quarter-final with the Moscow champion, Richard Gasquet is on the cards, which would be a first meeting since Basel last year.

Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer bulk out the middle section of the draw.  Stanley, who opens up against Edouard Roger-Vasselin, has a very favourable draw and is likely to meet Andreas Seppi in the quarter-finals, who isn't exactly moving mountains these days.  I still fancy Federer to do well here though it is hard to ignore his recent form.  On a fast indoor hard court he should feel even more at home and technically shouldn't be tested until at least the quarters where he could meet Grigor Dimitrov, Alexandr Dolgopolov or Radek Stepanek, who house out a funky section of the draw.  

The final quarter features the number 2 seed, Tomas Berdych, who is looking to 100% confirm his place at the O2.  He takes on Ivo Karlovic in the first round, who had a great week in Moscow and is one of the best people to follow on Twitter (if you're not, where have you been?!).  Berdych's second round opponent will be Vienna finalist, Robin Haase or Vasek Pospisil, who played each other last week in Vienna.  Kei Nishikori is Berdych's projected quarter-final opponent and if he is injury free (a big if these days), he has a 3-1 lead in the head-to-head with Berdych.  All in all, I think this is DelPo's title to lose, but a lot does depend on the fitness of some of the players in this draw as we approach the end of the season.

1st Round Predictions: Del Potro to beat Laaksonsen in 2 sets, Gasquet to beat Llodra in 2 tight sets, Wawrinka to beat Roger-Vasselin in 2 tight sets, Seppi to beat Brands in 2 sets, Dimitrov to beat Stepanek in 3 sets, Istomin to beat Zeballos in 2 sets, Federer to beat Mannarino in 2 sets, Dodig to beat Berlocq in 3 sets, Pospisil to beat Haase in 3 sets and Berdych to beat Karlovic in 2 very tight sets

Moo's Final Prediction: Del Potro d. Federer

ATP Valencia
David Ferrer
Valencia does not have the big name draws of Basel, but the overall strength of the draw is much better and there are some eye-catching openers to watch out for.  At the top of the draw, Stockholm runner-up, David Ferrer takes on Gael Monfils in the first round.  Two weeks ago, Monfils was beating Federer and taking a set off Djokovic and last week he was losing in the first round of Vienna to the world number 213, Jaroslav Pospisil, who had never won an ATP tour main draw match.

The second quarter features Nicolas Almagro, who has ressurected his season with some big wins in Tokyo and Shanghai.  In a Spaniard-dominated quarter, I expect Marcel Granollers to take out both Janko Tipsarevic and Fabio Fognini and then fall in the quarters to Almagro.  The third quarter features just Albert Montanes on the Spanish front, but I could see both seeds, Kevin Anderson and John Isner falling at the first hurdle.  Anderson has lost the consistency that he showed in the first half of 2013 and will be tough pushed to beat Roberto Bautista-Agut, meanwhile Isner has got Ernests Gulbis to contend with.

The final quarter features Vienna champion, Tommy Haas, who has drawn Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round.  I was surprised Haas played Vienna with a back injury taking him out early in Shanghai and I think Kohlschreiber might be onto a win in that one.  Gilles Simon had an early loss in Shanghai and should have recovered from a back injury, but he could be set for 4th meet-up with Benoit Paire this year if both win their openers.

1st Round Predictions: Ferrer to beat Monfils in 3 sets, Lopez to beat Benneteau in 2 tight sets, Granollers to beat Tipsarevic in 2 sets, Fognini to beat Klizan in 2 sets, Bautista-Agut to beat Anderson in 3 sets, Chardy to beat Flo.Mayer in 3 sets, Gulbis to beat Isner in 3 sets, Paire to beat Nieminen in 2 tight sets, Youzhny to beat Tomic in 2 sets and Kohlschreiber to beat Haas in 2 sets (retirement, withdrawal possible)

Moo's Final Prediction: Ferrer d. Gulbis


  1. Not a good sign for Ferrer at the tournament in Stockholm.

  2. Daniel Gimeno-Traver - Lukasz Kubot Victor Hanescu - Tobias Kamke
    Alexandr Dolgopolov - Kenny De Schepper
    Didnt see these matches in Ur prediction..@chimajii

  3. OK I see your point! Yes in my original previews I just pick a selection of first round matches that interest me with a prediction and then from the 2nd round I put a prediction for everything. You can see all my 1st round predictions by clicking on the links at the top of the page.


  5. very disaponting tuesday nothig goes vrirht all goes vrong incredibilie day