Fedal 34.0: It’s On In Basel

Well, it’s been almost a two-year wait but we finally have our Federer vs Nadal rematch. The rivalry has become very one-sided of late with Nadal winning the last five encounters so the break was not the worst thing to happen, but it is too big a rivalry for it to just be over. For Nadal at least, there is still ground to conquer. For Federer too, but if things keep going the way it has been between them of late then Nadal will beat Federer at the worst possible place for him.

Nadal has infiltrated just about all Federer’s territory and made himself at home. He’s done it at Wimbledon and the Australian Open and recently even in Cincinnati and the world Tour Finals, two tournaments where you would still have called Federer the favorite even after all the losses to his big rival. The only ground left for Nadal to conquer now is Basel, the Swiss’ headquarters on tour.

Will Nadal infiltrate Federer’s last stronghold and make the ownage complete or will Federer be able to at least defend his home turf? I think the psychological toll on Federer would be big if Nadal does defeat him tomorrow. If that happens you gotta feel sorry for the guy. It could even hasten his retirement. Nadal is on his way back and a win over Federer tomorrow on a fast indoor court would be his best victory of the entire year.


It has often been said that Nadal needs a match against Federer when his confidence is low. Well, he will get that opportunity tomorrow and if he wins that may just be the victory that makes his return to form official. It will certainly give him a huge confidence boost. Nadal has never made it past the quarterfinals of Basel. He has lost in the first round twice and last year he lost to Coric in the quarterfinals.

It’s surprising that he got this far and I hope the people who keep saying he is not getting back to form will at least admit that much. Nadal is supposedly playing desperately poor tennis and yet he defeated four more than competent indoor players to make the final. Today he defeated Gasquet 6-4, 7-6(7) who was having a great week and is a very decent indoor player. The weird thing is he still hasn’t impressed me this week.

Something is still missing. How can that be when he’s just had his best result ever at Basel? I don’t know the answer to that, but Federer has not impressed me either. I didn’t watch his match today, but I saw the scoreboard when it was 6-3, 5-2 in Federer’s favor. I thought Federer would win 6-3, 6-2 and it looked to me like he was making a statement. Then when I got home I saw the final score was 6-3, 6-4.


Advantage Nadal. If both are unimpressive then I have to give Nadal the edge. Federer needed to make a statement after looking pretty average this week if he wanted to be my favorite. Certainly Federer could win. We can’t see the future. But I’m gonna have to give Nadal the edge here given the rivalry’s history and their respective forms. That’s just the way I see it.

The bookies have Federer easily as the favorite which I find somewhat strange, but then the odds will probably adapt as more people put money on Nadal. Certainly with the odds I have seen so far if you are into betting then I’d put money on Nadal. And by the way, I don’t condone betting at all. Just saying it doesn’t sound like bad odds to me. I’d rather not you run the risk of giving your money to people who don’t deserve it.

Whatever the case may be, I’m glad we finally have our Fedal rematch and I’m very much looking forward to it. Federer can certainly do with a win over Nadal and another Basel title. He’s looked burned out of late and a victory can help him get some of his mojo back and end the season on a high. On the other hand, the tide has been swinging in Nadal’s favor of late and we know what happens to Federer in that case…

Who will win 34.0?

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The is in your court.

Nadal and Federer One Match Away from Basel Final Encounter

Hmmm, this is getting interesting. After Nadal dropped the first set against Cilic today I thought the dream had ended but it is still alive after both Nadal and Federer had three-set wins today. Nadal came back to defeat Cilic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 while Federer defeated Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in another less than convincing performance. Is it because Nadal is lurking in the draw or because Federer is still burned out?


Maybe a combination of the two. Who knows. The point is he has not been convincing and it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow if Nadal defeats Gasquet, which is the first semi-final. Federer may even lose to Sock who defeated Young 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. At least Sock has a big serve and forehand as opposed to Goffin who lacks weapons. Federer should win, but the subconscious effect of Nadal can’t be underestimated.

I really wouldn’t be surprised at all if we don’t see a Fedal final, but one can dream. Gasquet today defeated Karlovic 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-6(6) which was a great win for him. It was also the ninth time Karlovic lost in a final set tie-break this year. I’m not complaining. I’m no serve bot fan. Nadal leads Gasquet 13-0 in the head-to-head. I like the way Nadal has been finding a way to win despite the surface not being suitable to his game.


Just making the semis here and beating Cilic will give him more confidence. It is also more proof to the non-believers that he is on his way back. Gasquet is looking very comfortable and if there is one tournament he can beat Nadal it is probably Basel, but given the head-to-head I guess you gotta make Nadal the favorite. He just seems to find a way. If he does win I will look forward to seeing what happens between Federer and Sock.

I hope Fedal can get over this last hurdle so we can have the dream final!

  • Paris Draw


The Paris draw came out today and it feels kinda strange to see Federer seeded third. His draw is quite good, though. He avoids both Djokovic and Nadal in his half and gets his favorite big four opponent Murray. Anyway, it looks like another title for Djokovic but of course still a long way to go. Nadal gets a tough draw with Anderson and Wawrinka, but the courts are slow so he could continue his return to form.

Federer needs to make the best of his favorable draw and make the final. Anything less would be a disappointment for him. I’m looking forward to seeing Djokovic back in action. He will be aiming for a record sixth Masters title this year. Should be fun.

The is in your court.

Nadal and Federer Still on Course for Final Showdown

Nadal and Federer are still on course for a final meeting in Basel, but not without some trouble and I still very much have my doubts as to whether we will see them play each other for the first time since the 2014 Australian Open. Nadal defeated Dimitrov 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 yesterday while Federer just defeated Kohlschreiber 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.


Neither of them were particularly convincing, even though the results were never in doubt. Neither Dimitrov nor Kohlschreiber has the mental capacity to upset Nadal or Federer. Dimitrov has always been highly overrated in my view. He was up breaks in the first and third sets and had a double break in the second set before handing one of them back to Nadal.

And it’s no surprise given how bad his year has been, really. Nadal was average for the most part. He didn’t impress me and will lose to Cilic in the next round if he doesn’t improve. The Rosol win was more impressive from Nadal because he hates Rosol and didn’t want to lose to him, but he doesn’t look very comfortable on these courts as expected.


As for Federer, he just had to be solid and Kohlschreiber would choke like clockwork which he did at 4-4 in the third set. He wasn’t very solid in the second set, but a win is a win. The courts favor him and he has an easy draw so he can make the final without having to play his best.

Federer now plays Goffin which should be another victory for him.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

Thiem played against Gasquet today and lost 7-6(1), 6-4. Gasquet is just a better indoor player because he is more comfortable at the net. Thiem has a lot of work to do to become a better indoor player. Then there were two upsets today with Sock defeating Isner 7-6(3), 6-3 and Young defeating Anderson 6-2, 7-6(6). They will now play each other for a semi-final spot against the winner of Federer and Goffin while Gasquet and Karlovic will play to decide who plays the winner of Cilic and Nadal.

  • Highlights

The is in your court.