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Federer vs Simon ATP Basel live streaming, preview and tips - Federer hasn't lost before Basel semi-finals since 2003

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 26 Oct 2018
  • Roger Federer vs Gilles Simon is live from Basel around 7.00pm local time on Friday (6.00pm BST)
  • Federer leads their head-to-head 6-2, but they haven't played since 2015
Roger Federer (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

Roger Federer and Gilles Simon clash for the first time in over three years as the pair square off for a spot in the Swiss Indoors semi-finals in Basel on Friday night.

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Eight-time champion Roger Federer goes in search of his 18th straight win in Basel when he takes on the tricky Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Arriving in Basel on the back of a semi-final Shanghai Masters defeat to Borna Coric and revealing that he had been suffering from a hand injury for an indefinite period of time since near the start of the grass season, it’s been far from smooth sailing for Federer at is home tournament. The 37-year-old began his quest for a ninth Basel title with a scrappy three-set win over Filip Krajinovic in which he was extended to a decider after leading by a set-and-a-break - and he was forced to work his way out of tough situations again in his second round encounter with Jan-Lennard Struff on Thursday.

Federer was 3-0 against Struff and hadn’t lost a set to the German in all of those meetings coming into the contest, but the Swiss quickly found himself down an early break at 1-3 in the opening set, with Struff firing away behind his booming serve and potent forehand. However, Federer settled quickly and his variety started to push Struff into uncomfortable situations, with the eight-time champion reeling off the next five games to snatch the opening set. Struff regained his composure and it appeared as if a tiebreak would decide the second, but the German began to feel the pressure at 5-5, 40-40, misfiring on a forehand and double faulting to hand Federer the chance to serve out the match, which he did with minimal fuss.

"I was ready for Struff to come out and swing. I didn't know how aggressive he was going to play or how much serve and volley he was going to do. But unfortunately, I didn't have the best first two service games. But he also played well, I must say. He connected well, he came out with a plan and it worked for him," Federer said. "In the second set it was close throughout, but I think I was able to clean up my game a little bit... I'm obviously happy I got through today."
"I'm happy that I improved after a rocky, slow start today, to play well after that. I think the crowd was really into it. They were excited that I came back from being a break down," Federer added. "I'm excited for the next round, so I'm actually quite happy how I'm playing right now." 

A former ballboy in Basel as he dreamt of becoming a professional tennis player, Federer has gone on to compile arguably the greatest tennis career of all time, winning 20 Grand Slam titles and a total of 98 career titles, including eight at the Swiss Indoors, starting his first campaign at the tournament as a teenager ranked No. 396 in the world in 1998, losing 3-6 2-6 to Andre Agassi before going on to claim the silverware in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017 and finish runner-up on five more occasions in 2000, 2001, 2009, 2012, 2013.

As far as this season goes, it was always going to be tough to emulate his stunning resurgence from 2017, where he won the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Halle, Wimbledon, Shanghai and Basel to return to No. 1 in the world, with Federer defending his Australian Open title but only winning two more titles in Rotterdam and Stuttgart, while he’s suffered a number of surprising defeats to the likes of Thanasi Kokkinakis (Miami), Borna Coric (Halle, Shanghai), Kevin Anderson (Wimbledon) and John Millman (U.S. Open). Can he avoid another shock defeat in Basel on Friday night? The last time he lost before the semi-finals in Basel was against his current coach Ivan Ljubicic all the way back in 2003…

Gilles Simon (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, fresh from securing the 450th win of his career in reaching the Antwerp quarter-finals last week, Gilles Simon is making his Swiss Indoors debut in Basel at 33 years of age this week, and he’s advanced into the quarter-finals for the second straight week without dropping a set, taking out Leonardo Mayer 6-3 6-3 in the opening round before conquering recent Stockholm runner-up Ernests Gulbis in two tiebreaks, 7-6(4) 7-6(0).

A former World No. 6, two-time ATP Masters 1000 runner-up and two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist with 32 top 10 scalps to his name and a total of 14 career titles, Simon has put together a resurgent year in 2018 after starting the season ranked No. 89 in the world. Indeed, Simon started the year by beating Marin Cilic for his 13th career title in Pune, while he also finished runner-up in Lyon to Thiem and made the Round of 16 at Wimbledon, where he pushed Juan Martin del Potro all the way before succumbing in a fourth set tiebreak.

Simon endured a tough run after Wimbledon, winning just one match throughout the entire U.S Open Series, but the Frenchman returned to form with a bang at the Moselle Open in Metz, claiming his second title of the season with wins over the likes of Richard Gasquet, Filip Krajinovic and Matthias Bachinger. Simon lost in the opening round of both Tokyo and Shanghai, but he is back into form with back-to-back quarter-finals in Antwerp and Basel and has climbed back up to No. 32 in the world and is well-positioned to be seeded at the Australian Open in January.

Simon actually beat Federer in their first two meetings in Canada and the Tennis Masters Cup in China in 2008 and has subsequently stretched the Swiss to five sets at the 2011 Australian Open and 2013 French Open. Federer has won their other six encounters, but Simon poses a legitimate threat to the 20-time major champion, with his ability to transfer his awkward junk balling into genuine flat-hitting and power at the drop of a dime. I’ve always found Simon to be one of the more fascinating players to watch on tour because of this, and I do believe he has a very good chance of causing the upset if Federer continues his erratic form. You can’t bet against Federer in Basel, but don’t be surprised if Simon causes the great man a lot of headaches on Friday night.

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Federer vs Simon ATP Basel live streaming, preview and tips - Federer hasn't lost before Basel semi-finals since 2003

Roger Federer and Gilles Simon clash for the first time in over three years as the pair square off for a spot in the Swiss Indoors semi-finals in Basel on Friday night.

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