The Basel draw is out and Roger faces Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the first round. There's no easing into this tournament it seems as Chardy is quite a good player and capable of playing at a high level.
This will be an interesting match I believe, they've never met each other before and this year Chardy has beaten Murray and Tsonga which are very big scalps.
I expect Roger to win but it's bound to be a test and we'll also see what kind of form he's in after losing to Murray in Shanghai. He looked pretty shaky that week so will he have got his swagger back in his hometown? Who knows but I'm looking forward to finding out. Basel is on of my favourite tournaments, a nice stadium in a cool country what else can you ask for?
If the draw goes to plan (it won't) then Federer is seeded to meet the following Bellucci/Soeda, Lacko/Seppi, Wawrinka/Troicki, Youzhny/Del Potro. With that I fully expect him to make the final.
The two interesting ones in that potential list are with Wawrinka; will he go all out to beat Roger after he should have beaten him in Shanghai. And the other is Del Potro; he's come close to beating Roger a couple of times this year but fallen short, however if you watched Shanghai you get the sense Roger is weak right now so that could give Del Potro some encouragement and the edge he needs if they play.
I was a ball boy. It ‘s always nice to play at home. I remember my match against Andre Agassi, which was obviously not a match I could win at the time, but I was happy to be on center. Basel has given me joy and pain. The most difficult time I had was the final against Enqvist, I played a good match but he was amazing . When I lost, during the awards ceremony I began to see all black in front of me, I thought that I would never win a tournament. In 2006, against Fernando Gonzalez, I finally was able to realize my dream.
Murray, Nishikori and Fish Withdraw
No surprises here as Murray withdrew from Basel for the second consecutive year. He looked dead on his feet after the Shanghai final against Djokovic and like I said many moons ago his body is going to become increasingly fragile. Murray was bound to be one of the biggest hurdles to Roger winning a 6th Basel title so with his withdrawal it means he's no longer standing in the way.
Nishikori was last years beaten finalist so he's abit of a loss as his game is quite good to watch. I doubt he'd have mirrored his performance last year but after winning Tokyo you figure he may have made the Quarters.
Fish is always dangerous on hard courts too so that also makes Roger's tournament a little easier should they have played.
Will Roger play in Bercy?
I said a couple of blog posts ago that Fed may skip Paris and he hinted at that in an interview in Basel yesterday:
I hope to be able to play three tournaments in three weeks. Certainly after Basel I will play in London, then I will think about what to do regarding Bercy. I have to evaluate my form.
I guess it's still undecided but I don't see much point playing it. Anyway, we'll find out after the Swiss Indoors.
Back to Basel and Roger plays on Monday. I think it's the night match so the Swiss crowd are in for a treat and it's also the peRFect time for me to watch which I'm extremely happy about because Cincy, US Open and Shanghai are all a real killer to watch.
Do you think Roger will win a 6th Basel title? Let me know in the comments.