ATP 500Roger FedererSwiss Indoors

Basel Draw 2018: Federer Starts on Tuesday

It was a long time coming but the Swiss Indoors draw for 2018 is now available and Roger will be starting his home tournament on Tuesday against Filip Krajinovic. You can see his projected opponents below:

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Filip Krajinovic
  • Round 2: John Millman / Jan-Lennard Struff
  • Quarter Final: Jack Sock / Gilles Simon
  • Semin Final: Stefanos Tsitsipas / Daniil Medvedev
  • Final: Sascha Zverev / Marin Cilic

Full .PDF draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Fed Swiss Indoors 2018

First up is the Serbian Filip Krajinovic who got in a couple of indoor matches earlier this week at the Kremlin Cup. Krajinovic is 13-14 W/L for the season to date but it was around this time last year when he found some real form, winning a challenger and then making the final in Bercy. Roger has played him once before this year in Indian Wells for the loss of just three games so he's a big favourite heading into this one.

Round 2 could see a US Open rematch against John Millman if the Aussie overcomes big hitting Struff in his first round. I make the German favourite to win that though, he serves big and indoor conditions should help his game.

Either way, Roger lines up as the favourite whoever he meets. The conditions are out of the equation this time around so it's unlikely Millman wins again should that happen. Struff is the more dangerous opponent for Roger but he's yet to drop a set against him in three meetings, two of which were at Slam level this season.

For the quarter-final, Jack Sock is the seeded opponent after he took a Wildcard into the event. Sock's had a woeful season on the singles tour and it could be about to get a whole lot worse when he inevitably drops his Paris Masters points next month. He has a rematch against Ernests Gulbis first though who beat him in Sweden this week.

The Latvian is flying at the moment and is in tomorrow's Stockholm Open final against Tsitsipas after beating Isner today. So that's no given for Sock but it's hard to see Gulbis playing well in back to back tournaments. But anyway I'd imagine Gilles Simon or Leo Mayer are Roger's most likely opponents for the Quarter Finals. Simon won the Moselle Open a couple of weeks ago and he's usually pretty good indoors so he's my pick to come through. When those two meet it's usually a nailbiter or Roger wallops him so I'm hoping for the latter 😀

Into the semi-finals and the seeded opponents are Tsitsipas and Medvedev. Like I mentioned Tsitsipas is playing the Stockholm final tomorrow and Medvedev has just played the Kremlin Cup where he lost in the semifinals to Khachanov.  As a result, both guys have a few indoor matches under their belts and I'd imagine they face off in the Quarter Finals. Seppi and Chardy are the only other names that really pose a threat in that section.

As for the final, Zverev is the top seed and probably the favourite to come through that half. Cilic is in there too and he can play well indoors but he's coming in off a very poor Asian Swing. Wawrinka is also in this half but his Basel record has never been one to write home about even in his slam winning years. Bautista Agut is the outside chance to come through after playing well in Shanghai in his loss to Roger and as you can see they practised together this week.

My expectations? Not really sure, Fed played ok in Shanghai but flopped against Coric and there's no doubt a good chunk of players in the drawer who will fancy their chances against him given some of his recent losses.

Pre Tournament Interview

What do you guys think of the draw? Confident Roger can defend his title? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Holy shit. #1 after 5 years of slugging it out here. I feel incredible. Hoping for a comeback @ Basel!! Chum Jetzii!

    1. I am really hoping for a title here! If he is moving anywhere near his best, he has the weapons to defend his title


  2. Well, you have to think there’s a decent chance for title #99…. fingers crossed. And as you say Ian, keeping Charlie’s wise perspective in mind from a few posts ago.

    Agree that without the dripping humid conditions of NYC, the Millman rematch should turn out differently if it happens. Without getting cocky however, that’s always disastrous. Would also love to see him play Tsitsipas, though I imagine the latter may have a hard time with fatigue & possibly emotional rebound in his first couple of matches, as he’s still in Stockholm. Interested to see who wins the title match there between him & Gulbis.

    Elsewhere in the draw, impressive of Cecchinato to have improved enough to be seeded. And…. Cilic v. Shapovalov in the FIRST ROUND?!? Oi. I’d love to see Denis do well, but I’m not sure I’m ready for him to take out Marin!

    And – really, Basel. And other tournaments. Announce on your website when the draw is scheduled, & maybe even how fans can follow it as it unfolds. Fans are actually looking for this information. I finally looked at other years to remember that the draw here is actually held at City Hall rather than at the St. Jakobshalle venue; and that in some years, at least, it’s published as 16:00 local. So I guess they have a history of being late-ish.

    Play with joy, Fed!

  3. Hey Jonathan/ other London folk/ people coming for the WTFs. Fancy doing a WTF match +meet up? I’m probably buying 2 consecutive full day passes given that last time they scheduled Fed for the day sesh, which meant I was treated to Zverev mumbling and grumbling and being a petulant kid instead of watching the GOAT.

    1. Hello,
      I have been to the WTFs several times.The only way to be sure of seeing Fed is to book tickets for both semi finals.And even then you have to gamble on Fed even getting to the semis.With his current rather erratic form not necessarily a given.Sorry,but there it is.

      1. The only sure way to see Fed isn’t the semi finals ?

        The surefire way is to book all 4 sessions for Sunday + Monday. Or Tuesday + Wednesday. Or Thursday + Friday. That way you’ll see him in the Round Robin.

  4. Well it could be worse.One match at a time as Jonathan has said in the past.
    I have decided for my own sanity that I will take each match as it comes.They love him in Basle.that noise when they
    all start drumming their feet on the floor.
    Nice to see that picture of BA after the frosty handshake in Shanghai.He plays well in Basle,Fed will have his work cut out here,I think.

  5. I think our GOAT has a good chance, considering he knows the court and most of the players very well, and for sure will be supported more than massively by the crowd. And I think too, that he’s very motivated to show the ball kids and the rest of the world that he’s still motivated!
    And I’m sure Tsitsi would like finally a match vs his long-time idol. But I think I would prefer their first? tour-fight at another place – Perth? AO? Golden swing? Dubai? and in a final preferably (Tsitsi beating all the other high rankers before having a true masterclass).

      1. Ah I never heard that before, guess I never paid much attention with Fed not playing it. Wonder if he will ever go there, seems unlikely…

      2. I meant something else. sorry I was wrong mentioning that ? please don’t think more about that

  6. Thank You, Jonathan, for your faithful report…..fingers and toes crossed for Roger’s hometown, Basel,
    WIN…..DO IT!

  7. Tricky draw given recent choppy form! Just hoping all other contenders tired and overplayed! Agree re Struff and Simon and possibly Tsitsipas coming thru, but hoping crowd and court favour Rog. All I know is that if he wins Guy Forget will yet again be drowning his sorrows in Paris.
    Not sure how WTF will pan out! Still think Nadal is a doubt and Delpo surely out.
    The trio of Cilic, Anderson and Isner isn’t going to sell tickets! We need Kei or anyone who still can, to push out Isner Plse!

    1. At the moment Kei has advanced to 9 in race to London – Isner is 10 now. Kei has therefore a fair chance, considering Delpo probably is out recovering his knee.

      1. No, Kei is now 10. (20 points behind Isner). From points Kei earns in Vienna 90 are lost. TP Race count does not work so simple.

  8. On paper looks easy but actually its quite tricky. With each round, opponents gets trickier and have ability to hurt Roger more. Taking one match at a time. Let’s do this Roger

      1. We had years before this which were even less easy! Cheer up, expect wonderful tennis, maybe wins too, YES!

  9. Oh c’mon, most of you guys seem to be trying your expectation low?! The draw is doable so long as Fed plays normal 😆

  10. Guys! Just read that Fed hurt his right hand in the grass season. That explained woeful FHs. Hope it’s okay now, pls??

      1. Happened in training he said. I saw a clip at Wimbledon a few months ago of him rubbing his wrist on a changeover but didn’t think much of it. Not like his fh speed was down, but it’s accuracy certainly was.

  11. @Alison,
    Well yes,but if you want a decent seat without paying the earth you have to book fairly well in advance In my

  12. Tbh everybody is gonna like their chances when they have Fed over the net now. One match at a time, both his first and second round opponents are no mugs.

  13. Roger is the GOAT and any tennis player will play his hardest to say they beat the GOAT. While all the players admire Federer they also welcome the challenge to play him. Coric may be happy to have beaten Roger twice but if Roger was in his early 20’s he knows he wouldn’t have a chance. Nadal couldn’t beat Roger when he was 35 and 36 last year. Who knows what Roger will surprise us with in 2019? Winning GS number 20 and having the record oldest player to be number one is a great year for any tennis player. On to winning number 99, Allez Mon Ami!

    1. I don’t think Coric will be thinking about whether he could beat Federer in his early 20’s. It’s a pointless thought to even enter his mind 😆

  14. Typical Fed. He doesn’t reveal an injury until long after. Says he’s ok now but I never believe the guy. Looking at the faces of his team says more. For a lot of this year, they have looked concerned and not very relaxed. That tells me more.
    He hurt his hand and a “few other things”? What does that mean?
    Anyway, good luck to the Goat!

    1. “Typical Fed. He doesn’t reveal an injury until long after. Says he’s ok now but I never believe the guy. Looking at the faces of his team says more. For a lot of this year, they have looked concerned and not very relaxed. That tells me more.”

      That’s very true.

    1. Yeah, and Edmund also won his maiden title. So much for the “nextgen” hype. There are only players with a random age distribution; there is no “generation” or any age pattern.
      Roger to win Basel. There, I said it.

  15. Re: Federer hurting his hand, apparently he told Rene Stauffer he hurt his right hand at the beginning of the grass court season in practice. “It affected my forehand for around three months” Federer said.

    1. In the “Tagesanzeiger” Interview he said it affected him especially in Halle and Wimbledon when he didnt have his usual ability to strike the fh right into the corner with closed eyes.
      The whole thing did not stop until the Laver Cup when it seemed to get better for the first time.
      This explains everything. The poor quality after Stuttgart and during the US open series

      1. Blasted TA has put it behind the paywall, so I can’t read it. Tried to get around it, but no luck. Bang goes all my CPD for the rest of the year 🙁

  16. A nice interview here !

    B… ackhand on top
    A …ces to win easy points
    S… trategy at its best
    E… ncouragements from the crowd
    L… ots of luck and love from us all

    Go for your 9th Swiss Indoors
    and your 99th, Ro99er !

  17. In the ATP interview, Roger said he was carrying a back injury for the last 3 months of last year. Hmmm. He didn’t say he was injury free at the moment but said always doesn’t mean everything.
    Poor Stan. Not his year. Nor Andy’s.

  18. One has to feel really sorry for Stan,what a wretched year he has had after what looks like very serious surgery judging by
    the scars on his knees.I wonder if either he or Murray will ever come back to their former form?

  19. Federer had his serve broken 4 times and his forehand was terrible. He was just really lucky that he won the final game. He had moments of brilliance but he needs to play better otherwise he will be leaving after the second round. I predicted that Basil what will be expected in 2019. He is looking very much like a 37 year old tennis player.

    1. I’m worried – didn’t watch the match yet, but doesn’t it sound as though his wrist is sore like earlier this year?

  20. Oh my goodness,what the hell.Where was the first serve,the forehand?As far as I could see the backhand slice kept
    him in it.Struff was very impressive,goodness knows what will happen next.

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