Roger Federer could face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals as he goes in search of a record 10th Swiss Indoors title in Basel this week.
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Nine-time champion Roger Federer headlines a blockbuster field in the Swiss Indoors draw this week, with fellow top 10 stars Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista Agut all looking to stop the Swiss legend from claiming a 10th title in Basel, while Stan Wawrinka is also a potential obstacle in what could be an all-Swiss quarter-final.
With the likes of David Goffin and Fabio Fognini also trying to qualify for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in London, it’s shaping as a big week in Basel – read on below as we break down the draw and predict who will emerge from each quarter.
Projected quarter-final: Roger Federer (1) vs Stan Wawrinka (7) – H2H: Federer leads 23-3
Federer holds a dominant record over Wawrinka, winning 23 of their 26 matches and all 17 of their matches on hardcourt, and should they meet again in the quarter-finals, he would be the heavy favourite – despite losing at the quarter-final stage in his last two tournaments at the U.S. Open and Shanghai Masters to Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev.
Federer opens against a qualifier and would face either Dusan Lajovic or Radu Albot for a spot in the quarter-finals, while Wawrinka – who has advanced to the Antwerp final at the time of writing – comes up against Pablo Cuevas in his first round, and should he get through that, would take on the winner of Dan Evans and Frances Tiafoe for a place in the last eight. This looks like a relatively routine quarter if Wawrinka isn’t too fatigued from Antwerp, and should an all-Swiss quarter-final eventuate, it’s hard to go past Federer coming out on top.
Predicted semi-finalist: Federer
Projected quarter-final: Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) vs Fabio Fognini (5) – H2H: Tsitsipas leads 2-0
Tsitsipas has started to find some of his best tennis after a rough North American hardcourt swing, making the final in Beijing and the semi-finals in Shanghai – and if he maintains that level, the Greek should be able to navigate this quarter and set up a potential semi-final showdown with Federer. Tsitsipas begins his campaign against Albert Ramos-Vinolas and would meet a qualifier or Pablo Andujar for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, fifth seed Fognini is still in the running for one of the last spots at the ATP Finals, but his hopes suffered a blow this past week as he lost his opening match in Stockholm. The enigmatic Italian starts his tournament against a qualifier and if he wins that, would await the winner of an all-Serbian first round between Laslo Djere and current Stockholm finalist Filip Krajinovic, who’s in Basel as a special entry.
Predicted semi-finalist: Tsitsipas
Projected quarter-final: Roberto Bautista Agut (4) vs David Goffin (6) – H2H: Goffin leads 3-2
This is a much tougher quarter to call. Goffin had been in solid form over the last couple of months, reaching the final in Halle and Cincinnati, the fourth round at the U.S. Open and semi-finals in Tokyo, but he suffered a surprising straight sets loss in his opening match at home in Antwerp this past week to Ugo Humbert. The Belgian comes up against 2016 Basel champion Marin Cilic in his opening match, but while normally that would be viewed as an extremely tough opener, the Croatian has been in poor form all season and only just made his first semi-final of 2019 in Moscow this week. Cristian Garin or the giant Reilly Opelka awaits the winner of that clash in the second round.
Meanwhile, Bautista Agut is also in sub-par form, only winning one match in his last two tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai – and he has a tough opening round against the big-serving Marius Copil, who beat two top 10 players to make the Basel final last year, eventually falling to Federer. Should Bautista Agut survive that contest, he would face either Richard Gasquet or Juan Ignacio Londero for a spot in the quarter-finals. It’s a solid opportunity for an unseeded player to make the semis – perhaps Copil is in for a repeat run in Basel?
Predicted semi-finalist: Copil
Projected quarter-final: Alexander Zverev (2) vs Benoit Paire (8) – H2H: Zverev leads 1-0
Zverev is playing his first tournament since a resurgent run to the Shanghai Masters final, where he scored a first top 10 win of 2019 over Federer, but the German has a potentially tricky draw to even make the quarter-finals. Taylor Fritz, who has compiled a very solid season, is Zverev’s opening round opponent, and should the second seed emerge triumphant, he could face another rising star in Zhuhai champion Alex de Minaur in the second round.
Paire meanwhile has lost three of his last four matches and is as unpredictable as ever. The Frenchman begins against wildcard Henri Laaksonen and would take on the winner of Jan-Lennard Struff and Miomir Kecmanovic should he make the second round. It will be interesting to see if Zverev can build on his Shanghai run – and for me, it’s Struff – who beat Zverev in Indian Wells – who is looking the most likely to be his quarter-final opponent.
Predicted semi-finalist: Zverev
Federer vs Tsitsipas
Zverev vs Copil
Federer vs Zverev
The 2019 Swiss Indoors is live from Basel between October 21-27.