ATP 500Roger FedererSwiss Indoors

Basel / Swiss Indoors Draw 2013 – Federer Faces Mannarino

The Basel draw is out and Roger has landed in the same half as Tomáš Berdych, could face Grigor Dimitrov in the Quarter finals but first has to see off Adrian Mannarino in his opening match at the St. Jakobshalle arena.

There are no easy draws in ATP Masters 500 events, especially not at the Swiss Indoors which always seem sto attract top players due to the timing of it in the calendar and the fact there are spaces on offer to qualify for the year end championship but I think Roger has a fairly good draw here.

It looks like he'll have to face some talented youngsters and his bogey player in Tomáš Berdych if he's to make the finals but on an indoor court anything is possible.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • 1st Round: Adrian Mannarino
  • 2nd Round: Denis Istomin
  • Quarter Final: Grigor Dimitrov
  • Semi Final: Tomáš Berdych
  • Final: Juan Martin Del Potro

Full .pdf draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Thoughts on Basel Draw 2013

Overall I think Roger has landed in the better of the 2 halves, the top half has Gasquet, Wawrinka, Del Potro, Bagdhatis and Seppi who are all very handy players with titles to their name.

It looks like Roger will have some tests too but other than Berdych there aren't too many what I'd call danger players, but then again neither were Monfils or Robredo :D.

It looks like we might finally see Roger play against the guy who's compared to him on a daily basis too, Grigor Dimitrov, so that could be interesting and it's one a lot of fans have been waiting for.

Dimitrov has been a complete flop though this year after playing well in Brisbane and Madrid and has really failed to make an impression. He's currently playing the event in Stockholm where he faces Benoit Paire in the semi finals later today so he may head into Basel with some confidence; although I can quite easily see him losing to Stepanek in the first round.

I guess you have to say seen as though he's been able to beat Djokovic and cause Nadal problems that it is possible he can beat Roger but I'm not sure it will happen here. Hopefully we do get the matchup between them though, the result may determine things to come.

Side note: I have heard a rumour Sharapova might be pregnant with Dimitrov's baby – if true that could be career over for both of them. Still a rumour but to say she was spotted at a maternity clinic is quite a big indication and it would be a shame for Dimitrov.

The second round could be Istomin, whom Roger has beaten easily in the past but he does have some weapons so can't be underestimated. I guess he has to fancy his chances too based on Roger's current form but he does have a habit of fading mentally at the business end of sets / matches.

There's also a chance he could play Pospisil later in the tournament who is also another talented player that could cause a few problems but I'm not sure he's quite up to it yet, Roger beat him a couple of years ago at the Roger's Cup quite easily but he's clearly improved since then so it will be more of a test especially if Roger isn't playing well himself.

Berdych is always a danger to Roger too just due to the matchup issue but indoors I still give Fed the edge, Berdych has been looking over tennised too over the last month or so I'm not sure what he has left in the tank.

Should Roger make it to the final then Del Potro is his most likely opponent and rematch would be nic after he beat Roger last year but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Predictions vs. Mannarino

Federer Mannarino Predictions Basel 2013

I think this one is a great opening match, Mannarino is improving and did quite well in the opening set when they met at the US Open before losing self belief but in a smaller tournament over 3 sets he can probably give a better account of himself.

After losing to Monfils it will be interesting to see how Roger starts, although Shanghai turned sour pretty quickly he did look quite sharp physically so it's just a question of whether he can start bossing proceedings with his first serve.

If he can then this one will be routine and here's hoping that's the case. Hopp Schwiiz!

Nadal and Raonic Out of Basel

Nadal withdraws from Basel

Other than the draw the big news in Basel is that both Nadal and Raonic have withdrawn from the event. Many of you predicted Nadal would withdraw and you were right, it looks like he's drained from the USO and wants to make an effort to try win the World Tour Finals.

Hi all, sorry to announce that I won't travel to Basel in Switzerland but after very exhausting weeks I have to regroup my fitness and my body. I will do my best to come back to the Swiss Indoors next year.

It's good news that Raonic has withdrawn too for Roger as the Canadian has been making a push too for a place in London, I'm not sure on his reason for withdrawal but I guess he's just played too much lately.

I find it rather amusing that now 3 years on the trot the “big draw” alongside Roger has pulled out of the tournament at the last minute, Murray did it twice and now Nadal has done the same.

If you remember the story Brennwald seemed to have some kind of problem with Roger and made all sorts of daft comments in the press about appearance fees etc. He then decided to throw a ton of money at Nadal to get him to play, whilst Roger removed Basel from his schedule due to failed negotiations end of last year thus forfeiting any appearance fee.

Of course he added it once things had calmed down and now the tournament is relying solely on him again as the star attraction whilst Brennwald has egg on his face. Poetic justice 😀

Federer Still Plenty of Greatness Left

Finally there was a cool article last week in USA Today that interviewed Paul Annacone after his split with Roger, you can read it here – Federer Still Plenty of Greatness Left and I've pulled out a snippet below.

Whenever you start to doubt people like this you kind of set yourself up to get your own foot stuck in your mouth, they’re atypical. They’re phenoms. As much as Roger still loves to play, the exuberance he still shows in every practice, his desire to continue to enjoy the game — I can’t imagine anything other than success coming his way. For me, it’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.

Nice words from Annacone and I for one hope he's right with his assessment of what to expect from Roger. It looks like parting ways was the right move for both of them and now Roger has to dig deep to get himself back into form.

Interestingly Annacone praised Luthi too, I have no real idea of what Luthi does as he's very behind the scenes so it's hard to see from the outside looking in the value he brings. He might be brilliant just we don't get to see it as he's so understated. On face value alone though I have my doubts he's really capable of adding Roger a ton of value in terms of tactics, level of play etc.

There's also no word on any other coaches yet which is to be expected or in fact whether he'll get one at all. I personally would like him to just for that added dimension and input but ultimately Roger will do what he feels is right.

Back to Basel and I'm hoping for a decent run from Roger, it's the first indoor tournament of 2013 since Rotterdam which ended badly and he has to play well to keep his World Tour Finals bid alive.

There's some big names in the draw so it will be a test but I do hope he makes the business end of it, the crowd will of course be behind him, there's no Nadal factor now either so he should be able to play freely and that little bit of hometown pressure might work in his favour. Allez!


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. Oh please, don’t be a one slam wonder like Roddick and Del Potro. You can do better 🙂

  1. The first slam for me? Wow! Was pure luck, any way, thanks for the draw news and some updates, Jonathan.

    Baby fed’s baby? Kidding? He needs to be grownup first.

    As for Roger Basel is one of his beloved tournaments so hope he makes good outcome. I’m optimistic. Allez!

  2. Good draw for RF really except for Birdshit. I am expecting for him to reach at least the quarters. I am keeping my fingers that Basel will be start of his resurgence

  3. Let’s hope he does something nice here… He really needs it!!

    Btw, did you guys see what Brenwald tried? He tried to give a wild card to djoker, who refused. Too funny. That guy is gonna eat his foot, as a certain annacone said 😀

    1. I didn’t hear that Brennwald tried to get Djokovic to play!! That makes him look even worse. He should know that by now, there’s really only one player that the fans in Switzerland want to see at the tournament… Federer of course!!

      1. Not just Fed, Stan is damn hot right now! but yeah. brennwald is basically the mean guy! 😀

    2. Haha what a clown. I like how he said before that he can ring Djoker and Nadal and speak to them instantly, whereas he can’t with Roger. Looks like those 2 have a great relationship with him lol

      1. Right?! I just find it funny that he does all he can to belittle Roger and just gets it coming right back 😀

  4. I have a feeling that Federer is going to do well this week in Basel. I don’t know if he’ll win the tournament, but I think that the whole fact that he’s playing at home in Switzerland will be a massive motivating factor for him. Also, looking at his history in the event, I imagine that he would be pretty disappointed if he didn’t at least get to the final, given the high standards that he has set for himself. At the same time, it’s so hard to know what’s going to happen based on all of the recent results.

    Love the fact that Rafa pulled out of the tournament, especially after all the goings-on earlier on in the year. Finally, some karma for Brennwald 😀 Allez Roger!!!

    1. Hope so BS,

      Hard to predict what happens based on Shanghai, seems to be carrying on the slump these days.

      Should be motivated though, if he wins Brennwald looks like even more of a muppet.

  5. Hi all, its been awhile since my last comment, it was a very busy last two weeks 🙁
    Just wish all the best for roger and hope basel would be turning point

      1. Hi Jonathan,
        I will be out of country tomorrow and arrive at evening! if the match start after 5GMT then I will try my best not to miss the live chat, it’s something I enjoy doing it 😉

  6. Thanks for the links to the Brennwald story Jonathan. I can’t believe I live in Switzerland and knew nothing about this! Interesting. Stupid man! The Swiss are very, very proud of Roger and someone like Brennwald would have to do a lot to convince most that he could be less than a hero – even if there were some truth in what he says! If Rafa and Djoko don’t want to play in his tournament and sales go down – well he can always sell the whole thing to Roger 🙂 Seriously, if he doesn’t realize that coming at the end of the season Basel is always going to be a “will I won’t I” sort of tournament except for it’s home-grown players then he’s an idiot.

    Looking forward to next week immensely. It is a good draw for Roger, if there can be said to be such a thing as a good draw given the season he’s had. I don’t think it’s going to be the turning point – I think that will come next year – but I do have a feeling he’ll do well.

    1. Hey Rita,

      Yeah surprised you didn’t see, I think it made the Swiss Papers when it came out. I think the press were unhappy with how Brennwald handled it though, it all looked very petty.


      1. Yeah, and the irony is that Federer comes to the rescue for super Monday as they call it, happy to replace Rafa in the opening evening match following the hilarious orchestral bit beforehand! Brennwald must hv grovelled big time!

    2. Don’t know that all the Swiss are very proud of Roger: some of the papers give him a really hard time, from what I’ve seen.

      Sorry for the late entry, but I’m having horrendous computer problems at the moment

  7. Wel Well Well! It’s getting warmer in the room.

    Classement Officiel
    Race (World Tour Finals)

    # Nom / Prénom Points

    6. Wawrinka, Stanislas – 3150 plus 0 this week = 3150
    7. Federer, Roger – 3145 plus 0 this week = 3145
    8. Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried – 3010 plus 90 this week = 3100
    9. Gasquet, Richard – 2960 plus 150 this week = 3110 and maybe +100 if he beats Kukushkin. Let’s
    say he does…

    Then Monday…

    6. Gasquet, Richard – 3210
    7. Wawrinka, Stanislas – 3150
    8. Federer, Roger – 3145
    9. Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried – 3100

    And Raonic of course is not out of reach i he does great in Paris…

    I hope, really really hope Roger doesn’t care at this point to be or not to be in London (or at least succeeded in convincing himself so) and just wants to play great. Because stress hasn’t been a great friend to him in these moments of quest for confidence!!!

    I’d rather be pessimistic than disappointed and I don’t want to be fooled by hope though I’m full of it.

    I just want to see him play… with a free mind… opened to greatness!!!

    Alleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzz Rooooooogeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Seriously guys, you need to look at live Gasquet , even if he wins today will still be behind Fed at 3120. And knackered for Basel I believe. Tsonga not playing next week and still looks injured I think. Fed being helped all the way by withdrawals and upsets. Needs semis/finals to be safe. I also think Tomas cld lose to Pospisil, the young Canadian. Dimitrov in final today so cld either be tired or pull out. I am pretty Plsed about Dimitrov and Gulbis making progress this yr as firmly believe Ferrer, Berdych and Tsonga on a downward slope. Agree about the home crowd motivation but taking this match by match, set by set, game by game and point by point. Cld be a great week, cld be a testing week of character for Fed as this is what it has come down to now! The wire!!! Allez,

      1. Seems like makes a lot of mistakes! Thankfully the situation is better than I thought again. What would be the exact address Susie please you are suggesting?

  8. Maybe I just missed again the fact that the web site has already added the points to Gasquet and Tsonga… Then it’s just spot on!!!!!

    1. Live Very very up to date, to the minute. Enjoy! Pity Gasquet won! But has overplayed and will either suffer at Basle or in Paris!

  9. Hi all… I just hope that Federer can at least have a decent tournanent, after all those dissapointing results. I think he needs go for it, and the fact that he could potentially meet Birdcrap is miles away. So one match at time but hopefully if hes not having a bad day, Fed Should??? Be ok. But i still believe once he gets his confidence back, things will start fall into place.. Alot of fans will awaited breath and be praying that the Federer we all know will back to take his rightfull place as the king of Tennis!!! Allez the swiss maestro!?!

    1. Hey Serajul,

      Yeah match, match, point by point. It’s not a given he even beats Mannarino lol can’t believe I’m saying that but you never know.

      Anyway just gotta hope for the best.


      1. Don’t worry, he will! Semis at least and predict Berdych out earlier so then anything can happen … I am seriously going for a win here!

  10. Right now, any guy is a danger to Roger so I’m not putting my expectations on this one at all, if Fed loses early here it’s obvious he’s put 2013 on the back burner and is just finishing the schedule he set out at the beginning of the year. I also think now he definitely qualifies for the race but only just.

    I think anything is possible indoors as you said so ball is in Fed’s court, if he wants a good mental edge at the beginning of the 2014 season, he needs some momentum and there’s no better place to make it happen. Fed needs another title to get the ground running, it’s the only way he’s gonna get confidence back. Beating the Berd and Delpo is what he needs right now. Will it happen? That’s up to him. Basel one of my favourite tournaments, hope it is good to Roger this year. And I cannot believe Brennwald, the guy got served. Why doesn’t he just alll do us a favour and give Fed the tournament? It would be in better hands, the guy fails year in year out. Looks like an idiot every time.

    Regarding Sharapova, well that’s quite interesting. Sharapova says she’s playing Brisbane 2014 so she either terminated her pregnancy or was never pregnant at all. Anyway, allez Roger, time to shine!

    1. Sharapova is a weird one, probably just a rumour, but strange that she was spotted in a clinic, not sure why you’d make that up. So it could be true.


      1. Jonathan,

        You’re a douchebag. “It would be a shame for Dmitrov if Sharapova were pregnant?” Who the fuck do you think is the pregnant one? I am not a fan of Sharapoava’s but the fact that she was raised at a tennis academy might have something to do with her social skills. What’s your excuse?

      2. It would be a shame for his career yes. Still trying to breakthrough, having a kid would be too big a distraction.

        Have there been any slam champions that had a kid before winning their first slam? I’d say unlikely.

        Anyway, I doubt she’s even pregnant, so keep your hair on Lovelace 🙂

  11. Funny how fast things have changed. Last year, I was surprised Roger didn’t win Basel. Now, I’m hoping for any kind of result for him to get his confidence back. I have a feeling he will play freer without Annacone around. No pressure to use a bigger racket and play a certain way. I’m hoping he will just play by instinct.

    I watched the Stockholm semi with Paire and Dimitrov. Nice to see younger players with an all court game. Gives me hope the future of tennis won’t just be baseline bashing.
    Yes, Jonathan, I like Pospisil. He has a good game. Needs more experience and mental strength.
    Fingers crossed for the rest of the year.

    1. Hmm not sure I agree about him being freer, makes it sound like Annacone was shackling him which clearly wasn’t the case.

      Wonder if Dimitrov beats Ferrer? I’m not so sure.


    2. Pospisil – took me ages to get my head and tongue around that name. Started calling him popsicle and that seemed to help. I like him too.

      I agree with Alysha that any player is a threat to Roger at the moment so there’s no such thing as an easy draw (although things could certainly be tougher). Basically he’s playing himself. See if he can get rid of whatever demons are bothering him and get his confidence back. It must be so very frustrating for him to be beaten by players that he knows are not even in the same leagues as he is. Fingers crossed is the way I’m approaching this and all tournaments now. I haven’t been expecting a lot from this year but I will really start to worry if he starts 2014 badly.

      And given the news on Sharapova I guess we should stop blaming Connors for her early US Open exit!

    3. I don’t think we know if Annacone was advocating a bigger frame. Suddenly, Roger might win indoors and we will all go, “Well, Paul was the problem”. I don’t think so. And who knows, maybe it was Paul who was frustrated and decided to go away, on good terms though.

      When it comes to the bigger frame, Roger’s problem is that he refuses to stick with it for a while. We did not see that happen. That would forever bother me if Roger never wins a slam again. Now that I think of it, his flirting with the racquet was just a means of appeasing his curious fan base.

      As for the future of tennis. Yes, once everyone has a similar playing style, someone different will arrive and decide that keeping points short is the way to go. He will figure a way out. Suddenly, that will become the “in” thing. But right now, we need to live with the grinders.

    4. I suppose I’m wanting Roger to play more by instinct. Not to think too much. I don’t think Annacone was stopping him from playing that way. I wonder if Roger felt the pressure to change to a larger racket and felt it was all too much at this point in time.

      1. You can only play for so long on pure instincts. He can play that way only as much as he is allowed to by others. In current conditions, for a vast majority of the time, it will be method over instinctive play.

  12. I am sure Roger is aware, at the back of his mind, that should he reach the Basle Final, he will equal the record held by Vilas of the most appearances in a final at any ATP tournament( since 1974 ), which stands at 10. He currently ties second place on nine with Lendl ( ATP Tour final ) and Nadal ( Monte Carlo ). Indoors is Roger’s best surface along with grass, and here’s hoping he goes all the way. I believe he can, the question is does he, and can he execute assuming he has the belief? Time will tell…

    1. Hey Paul,

      Didn’t know that, would be a good achievement if he can do it.

      Gonna change hands again though as Nadal probably wins Monte Carlo for the next 50 years lol


  13. i think that federer would gain confidence taking one match at a time.he needs to improve his shot selection though given indoors are fast surfaces.

    1. Yeah he needs to be sharp, the good thing is he looked to be moving well in Shanghai just the execution was off. If he can dictate play indoors against his opponents and transition well then I see him playing well.

  14. Hi Jonathan

    I think he will come out all guns blazing he is at home and he loves playing indoors, hopefully he will be relaxed and just let things flow – not surprised Nadal is a no show it must be time for his booster shots if he is going to try and win at the end of the year!!! oops did I really just say that – Allez Roger

    1. He did seem to have some problems before the Novak final in Beijing, so a doctors visit is in order. I hope he gets to feeling better.

  15. Stakhovski was eliminated earlier today so that should come as a relief. :))

    Fed needs to serve well and really needs to be lucky at this stage.
    Comfortable holds and conversion of break points .
    He s got to take the upper hand if not in all matches , definitely for the first two or 3 rounds.
    I am afraid I don’t trust him to win coming from a set behind at the moment.
    I also hope that Manarino and Istomin won’t remember to play the matches of their life against Fed.

    Congrats once again to Jonathan and all for your great job.

    Cmooooooooooooooooon Rogeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrr!!!!

    1. Has Stakovsky won a match since beating Federer? lol

      I agree, he has to dictate on his serve, hopefully the low bounce means his backhand is solid and actually hits some winners from that wing.

  16. Pretty decent draw even though that Czech looks to be a possible tricky opponent. 🙂 Gasquet won today as well, so the heat is on for the race to London. Hopefully Roger can put on a good showing this week.

    And Brennwald got what he deserved. I wish I were in the room or a fly on wall when Nadal informed him of his pull out 😛

  17. Anyone seen Fed’s presser? Said he shouldn’t have played after Dodig in Indian Wells. Must’ve tweaked it a whole lot then in that Wawrinka match after. I kinda think things would’ve been different this season had he not had a bad back.

    1. And nobody believed me then when I said that Roger faced Nadal in the QF only because Larry Ellison wanted him to. Roger had no business playing that match.

      1. I did! Really did smack of a fixed draw and Ellison being a total dictator! Not sure how real some matches are these days, given the money on the line. Wonder who is being leant on this week to give Roger safe passage to London!!! As the Stroke of Genius alluded to, tennis is easy to fix, easy to rig, and huge money( betting anyone?) rests on it!

      2. I think there were two pullouts already that day and with the Roger vs. Dull’s match being viewed as the much “anticipated” match between the perennially injured one returning from the abyss and Roger, Roger probably did not want to disappoint people by withdrawing. Gstaad anyone?

        He really shouldn’t have played because it made things worse. At least now I hope that he won’t make the same mistake again. Well hopefully not because that would mean no more severe back problems. 🙂

      3. You were absolutely right. Fed should never have played after Dodig, it ruined his training schedule and cost him big time. Also shouldn’t have played the clay events after Wimbledon, too keen for the bigger racquet testing there. I wonder what would have happened if he was ok to go for Montreal and Cincy and made a run in NY. Hmmm, damn. Oh well everything happens for a reason. If this is what Roger is to endure to get back to the top and reap the rewards of his hard work for more success then so be it.

  18. Is it just me or is just weird to see this draw and Roger is still onle seeded third? I know he has been that for a while but it has always been in tournaments where Nole, Rafa and Murray has been in the draw also which makes it a bit more understandble. But when I think about it again it makes more sense anyway because this could be a real tricky draw for him with all these posible young opponents smelling blood when facing Roger. But I really hope that Roger comes out with a clear mind and playes some great tennis.

    And great that Dimitrov won in Stockholm, I like him and it would be great to see him lose to Roger in the quaters 🙂

  19. Alysha, I saw him play that match against Dodig in IW. He injured his back in the second set I believe. He was hiding his injury from Dodig and couldn’t even sit down in his chair. Perhaps this is a good lesson for him, that his body is more important than letting down the tournament and the fans.

    1. Sue, absolutely right. I am all for integrity but if one is really injured then common sense must come first!!

    2. This is true Susie, but at least you got to see the man play, one of the best experiences ever if I must say. And yes as Roger gets older, he’s going to have to listen to his body more and not the heart.

      1. And he won, comfortably despite me also not sleeping. Does he know how he affects us??? Had to “watch” via my ATP app! Score only. No live streaming that I cld find!!! Can rest easy tonight! No more to say! A win is a win is a win!!!

      2. You can start eating now Sid, Fed just won 6-4, 6-2. Hopefully he will carry it over to the next match. I am taking it only one match at a time.

      3. Thank you all for your concern!

        Paul Z, thanks, but sorry, I don’t accept biscuits, I steal them 🙂

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