Nine-time champion Roger Federer targets his 22nd straight win at the Swiss Indoors when he takes on Radu Albot for a place in the quarter-finals in Basel on Wednesday night.
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Unbeaten before the final in Basel since 2003, Roger Federer continues his quest for a record 10th Swiss Indoors title in the second round against World No. 49 Radu Albot on Wednesday.
Federer launched his European indoor swing in perfect fashion on Monday night, gliding past German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-2 6-1 in just 53 minutes. It was another Basel masterclass from the Swiss legend, with Federer – who was playing in his 1,500th tour-level match – firing 34 winners to just 18 unforced errors as he broke Gojowczyk five times in the dominant victory.
“I thought the match was good. I felt like I had a good spring in my step and was quick onto the ball. Didn’t take me long to get used to the conditions. That was positive,” Federer said.
“[I] knew of the danger playing Peter, especially indoors. He had a great couple of qualifying matches, so I knew he’d be tough, especially [because] he beat Karlovic easy, who serves great.”
Federer, who used to ballboy in Basel before embarking on his legendary career, now holds a 72-9 record in Basel, winning nine titles and last suffering a loss at the tournament in the 2013 final against Juan Martin del Potro. Federer made his Basel debut in 1998 as he lost in the opening round to Andre Agassi and reached his first final in 2000, falling to Thomas Enqvist. Federer would go on to lose in the final the following year to Tim Henman and bowed out in the 2002 semi-finals to David Nalbandian and 2003 second round to current coach Ivan Ljubicic, but after missing the 2004 and 2005 editions, he’s won the Swiss Indoors title on nine occasions and finished runner-up on a further three occasions, making at least the final in each of his last 12 appearances.
The 38-year-old continues to defy his age, with Federer winning three more titles so far in 2019 to break the 100-title barrier, prevailing in Dubai, Miami and Halle, while he also finished runner-up at Indian Wells and Wimbledon to remain in the top three behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. However, Federer hasn’t been in the best of form since missing out on two championship points in the Wimbledon final to Djokovic, losing in the Round of 16 in Cincinnati to Andrey Rublev and suffering quarter-final exits at the U.S. Open and Shanghai Masters to Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev respectively. Can Federer return to the champions corner this week in Basel?
Radu Albot (PA Images)
Radu Albot is his next opponent in the second round. The diminutive Moldovan is making his tournament debut at the 500-level Swiss Indoors this week and registered a solid win in his opening round, coming back from a set down to beat Monte-Carlo Masters runner-up Dusan Lajovic by a 2-6 6-3 6-4 scoreline on Tuesday to improve his career-best season record to 29-24.
Albot is one of those players that gets the most out of his limited resources, which is always to be respected, and although he doesn’t have many big weapons or much outright power, he makes up for it with his competitive spirit, consistency from the baseline and speed around the court. As mentioned, the 29-year-old has put together a fantastic season, winning his maiden ATP World Tour title in Delray Beach and making three semi-finals in Montpellier, Geneva and Los Cabos, while he also reached the third round of Indian Wells after qualifying. Albot came into Basel having lost five of his last six matches, but he’s back to winning ways after beating Lajovic and now gets the chance to test himself against Federer.
It won’t be the first time Albot has come up against the Swiss legend – the Moldovan gave Federer an almighty scare in Miami earlier this season in the second round, winning the first set 6-4 before dropping the next two 5-7 3-6. That match seemed to play Federer into form as he stormed to the Miami Masters title without dropping another set, however I’d be surprised if Albot was able to make this Basel clash as competitive. Federer is on a 21-match winning streak in Basel and looked as dominant as ever in his opening round – the nine-time champion, barring a horror performance, should cruise into the quarter-finals again.
Federer vs Albot ATP Basel live streaming, preview and tips – Federer targets 13th straight Basel quarter-final
Nine-time champion Roger Federer targets his 22nd straight win at the Swiss Indoors when he takes on Radu Albot for…
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