Basel Draw

Djokovic(1) – Malisse
QF – QF
Youzhny – QF
Troicki(8) – Baghdatis
Berdych(4) – Nishikori
Seppi – Muller
Melzer – Young
Fish(5) – QF

Roddick(7) – Haas
Giraldo – Stepanek
Bellucci – Nieminen
Federer(3) – Starace
Tipsarevic(6) – F. Mayer
Llodra – Ljubicic
Dodig – Wawrinka
Murray(2) – Haase

http://www.swissindoorsbasel.ch/Tableau-2011.222.0.html

The big news is that Murray is playing Basel instead of Valencia which he had on his schedule. I have no idea why he chose to change his schedule. Maybe he felt after his recent success that he was tired of beating Nadal and that he wanted to test his form against the big boys Djokovic and Roger. He is now number three in the rankings and I guess he felt that makes him the favorite to make the final. I’m sure he was hoping Roger would not be in his half of the draw, but that is the way it worked out. So if he wants to take the title home he has to probably get through Roger and Djokovic. I’m not so sure it was the best decision. If he played Valencia he would have had a better chance to secure 500 points and beat Nadal for a second straight time. Roger is a tough nut to crack in his home event and Djokovic may be an even tougher opponent.

But of course this makes it harder for Roger too. He will be coming back from a long break and will have to face a very in form player in the semis. I don’t like the fact that Murray is playing Basel. He seems to make annoying decisions. But on the positive side, this will be a good chance for Roger on home soil to show that losing the number three ranking to Murray was meaningless. I don’t think this is the smartest decision by Murray to be honest. He took the number three ranking fair and square but now it’s as if he wants to rub it in Roger’s face by beating him in his home town. This plan may just backfire, in which case he will end up looking bad and not worthy of being number three. It could break all the momentum he has gained during the Asian swing, going into Paris and the all important Masters Cup.

If I was him I’d stick to my schedule and just go with the flow. No need to try and emphasize his point. I really hope Roger beats him in the semis now. Roger’s draw looks pretty good until the semis. Starace should be a nice first match after his long break to get him back into the swing of things. Then it’s Belucci or Niemenin. I think it will probably be Niemenin who just made the final of Stockholm. That should be another nice match for Roger to sharpen himself. Then it looks like Roger could face his old pigeon Roddick. So it looks like a pretty easy road until the semis and three matches should be enough to get him ready for Murray. We know Murray is on a very good run, but Roger just loves the Basel courts and it very much favors his game. So I like his chances should he come up against Murray.

If he wins he will most likely face Djokovic whose draw is by far the easiest of the top three seeds. His toughest opponent before the final will be Fish or Berdych, and I don’t see any of those beating him. It will be interesting to see how he is playing after a long lay off and some injuries anyway. So we could have a repeat of the last two year’s final. Two year’s ago Roger lost to Djokovic, but last year he was on that amazing streak as he turned that result around. I hope Roger can produce something similar as last year during the indoor season. I’m sure he is looking to make the best of these last three indoor events and at least pick up one more title for the year. I think indoors is his best surface at this point of his career. The ball doesn’t bounce too high for his backhand and the conditions is such that he can play his attacking game very effectively.

I’m sure you are itching to see Roger back in action. Lets just enjoy seeing him back on the courts and not worry too much about results. These days those are just  bonus!

Roger Federer


Posted in Uncategorized.

18 Comments

  1. Nadal is not playing Valencia, so I am not sure what you mean when you say that Andy could beat him there if he had chosen to go to Valencia. Besides, the Basel court surface is the same surface used at the WTF’s in London and is a much faster surface than Valencia. It’s a good prep tournament for the uber- fast Paris Masters and the upcoming tour finals, much better than the slow as molasses Valencia. This may have influenced Andy in picking Basel. I think its a good decision- better to see how he fares against top opposition rather than beat up on lower ranked players at Valencia that everyone knows he can beat.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Nadal is not playing Valencia? Why not?

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    mel Reply:

    He has never played there…so it’s really not a surprise. Besides it is only a 500 and I don’t think he has much to gain by adding an extra tournament to his packed schedule. He only plays Paris and the WTF’s during the indoor European season.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok thanks for some reason I thought he usually plays it. Maybe because it’s in Spain. So maybe not a bad decision from Murray to play it after all. Valencia would not have been much of a challenge given his recent form.

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  2. About the draw this time I prefer Djoko into Roger´s half because Murray is in good form while Djoko comes back from injury, ranking does matter when it comes to seeding that´s what Roger said. But you
    obviously know me the eternal optimist! Behind Roger all the way…
    I have a good feeling, can´t wait Come on Roger!!!
    Oh Ru-an why the letter so small?

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  3. Murray switched to Basel because he wants to beat Federer and gain more points to stay ahead in the ranking. He is very confident right now and he knows that to stay ahead of Federer he has to play him and beat him. If Murray wins that semi, Roger is gonna lose a bit of his points. By the way have Murray and Federer even played once all year? I don’t remember it because nearly every draw has been Nadal/Murray and Federer/Djokovic semis. I think the last time they have even played each other was at the 2010 World Tour Finals. Hard to believe they’ve gone an entire season without meeting each other. “Luck of the draw.”

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  4. “…but Roger just loves the Basel courts and it very much favors his game.”

    Ruan just thought you should know that the Basel courts surface has changed this year. It will be the same as the WTF and the colour changed from red to blue.
    So basically the courts are slower this year because Basel was one of the fastest indoors and the WTF, as we saw last year, is not that fast for an indoor hardcourt.
    In my opinion the old surface suited his game a lot better than the new one but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

    Also that may be one of the reasons murray chose to play Basel over Valencia because Basel is a good preparation for the WTF because of the surface.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Why doesn’t that surprise me? They are slowing EVERYTHING down, even Basel.

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    Manu Reply:

    That’s partly the reason the world is in such a shitty shape today. “Sports” are no longer sports, just a different way to earn money. Same thing goes for the arts and writing. People don’t give a f^$* these days whether the sport is having any variety or life so long as the money pours in. Sorry if you think I’m bitter and morose, but sometimes I just plain hate humanity because everything is commercialized. But who cares about true creativity and artistic styles? The “practical(mechanical)” people who are in power live only for money. The result: total lack of emotion and appreciation for true artists.

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    Duarte Reply:

    Ruan you should so an article about how Roger and nadal careers would look now had the surfaces not been slowed down and homogenized.

    I read somewhere that years ago 20+ shot rallies in wimbledon where almost inexistente but in the last years it has become the norm.

    I truly believe Roger would have won pretty much the same he has now had wimbledon and the US Open remained with the same speed they had before. I say this because Roger beat the all time great Sampras in Wimbledon playing serve and volley. Roger is that talented and an all around player.

    As for Nadal and Djokovic….

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  5. For the record, Murray played indeed Valencia last year.
    Murray lost in the second round! R32 Murray- Feliciano Lopez: Murray won 6-3, 7-6; R16: Murray- Juan Monaco: Murray lost 2-6, 6-3, 2-6.
    No further comments.

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  6. Why did you delete my post Ruan?!
    I really don’t get it. I didn’t write anything offensive.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I didn’t delete your post. I just didn’t approve it yet. It is approved now.

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    Duarte Reply:

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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  7. I think it’s a good decision by Murray to play Basel. I think they changed the court for this years tournament, now it’s the same court as for the World Tour Finals. Is there any better preparation than to play quality opponent’s on the right surface? Nobody knows why Valencia is a 500 tournament….

    Btw Roger is always rusty after long breaks and Djoko is coming back from injury. So Murray is the clear favorite for me as long as he doesn’t choke :-)

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  8. Congratulations to Roger’s winning return. Didn’t get to watch the match, too late in my country. The scores seem to indicate a conservative game to get himself slowly back to speed.

    Anyway, read a good article on Roger today and thought of sharing with all of you here:
    http://allafrica.com/stories/201110311521.html?

    Thank you, Ruan, for this wonderful site. It has accompanied me dearly for the last 2+ years. Love your analysis and writing, as well as all the weighted and insightful discussions by all the usual suspects.

    Cheers and keep up the good work!

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  9. All in all, it was a solid performance from Roger after nearly 6 weeks away from match play. There was a little bit of rust at first — which was inevitable — and Roger himself admitted to some nerves, which, considering the importance Roger places on his hometown tournament, were to be expected as well. It’s a little early to comment on Roger’s form, I think, but a win is a win and we should all be pleased with that. Things will get much more difficult as the week progresses.

    I’m just happy that Roger is back on court: those 6 weeks away felt like an eternity.

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  10. Dissappointed with ATP, if they want to slow down surface of every tourney might as well just change it all to only 1 surface type, dont bother with clay, grass, hard and etc. Nowadays every player plays the same way ie counterpunching style and baseline grindings with loud grunts. ATP has slowly evolving to WTA minus skirts.

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