So the Swiss Indoors is almost upon us, it's Rogers first tournament back since he took a much needed rest after his Davis Cup matches in Australia at the start of September. He's entering the tournament as defending champion after beating Djokovic in last years final. Can he repeat last years performance and make it 5 titles in his hometown? Let's take a look.
Name: Swiss Indoors Basel
Category: ATP World Tour 500
Place: Basel, Switzerland
Surface: Indoor Hard
Prize Money: € 1,225,000
New balls, new surface
This year they've ditched the customary red surface in favour for the Blue they use at the World Tour Finals, they've also switched to the Head ATP Balls. Will this make a difference? I doubt it. I've played with the head balls and they fly pretty smooth and when playing indoors they don't fluff up too much so I don't see the speed being a problem. They worked well enough for Roger at least years World Tour Finals so I can't see them causing any problems.
Can Federer take the title after his 6 week break?
In a word, yes. Despite the lack of competitive tennis I don't see that hampering him too much. He's bound to be extremely rusty but his second round opponent won't be a world beater, so he can afford to not be at his very best and still get through comfortably. From there on it's just about playing himself into form. It's on the cards he'll face Djokovic in a repeat of last of last years final, and that could be close. The field isn't really that strong – the only other players of note are Mardy Fish, Thomas Birdshit and at a push Andy Roddick. I guess Gasquet could do some damage but he's not playing that well.
Reasons Federer can Win:
- It's indoors – the perfect surface for Roger
- He's playing in front of his hometown crowd
- He's 4 time champion
- He's going to be rusty but physically very fresh
- The draw isn't looking like a tough one
- Djokovic has been out of action too – he need matches under his belt
Prediction: Federer Win
Who else could be in the mix?
I predicted Tomic would beat Fish at the Shanghai Masters as I felt Mardy had played too much tennis of late, but in Basel he will be coming off a break – and for him there's quite a lot at stake. He's trying to qualify for his first end of season Championships at the World Tour Finals in London at the end of November. I think the conditions may suit his game so he could make a run.
After winning his maiden tour title he's kind of gone off the rails losing early in his last 2 tournaments, however I think Tipsarevic will fair well in Basel. He has had some relative success here before, losing to Roger last year in the 3rd round. I think he will make the Quarters, but any more is a bit to much of an ask.
Early Casualty Predictions: Andy Roddick and Thomas Berdych.
Any other predictions?