Basel R2 previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Young, Goffin vs. Del Potro

No. 1 seed Stan Wawrinka will continue his Basel campaign when he takes the court for second-round action against Donald Young on Thursday. Meanwhile, David Goffin will try to take one more step toward London at the expense of Juan Martin Del Potro.

(1) Stan Wawrinka vs. Donald Young

Wawrinka and Young will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers when they clash in round two of the Swiss Indoors Basel on Thursday. The head-to-head series stands at 2-1 in favor of Wawrinka, who most recently prevailed 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the fourth round of last summer’s U.S. Open. Not one of their three previous encounters has ended in straight sets; Young pulled off a 7-6(7), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(1) upset at the 2011 U.S. Open before Wawrinka got the job done 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 6-2 later that season in Shanghai.

Nothing has come easy for the Swiss in Basel, either. He is a mere 10-12 lifetime with no trips to the final in 12 previous appearances. Wawrinka, the reigning U.S. Open champion, had lost a shocking five matches in a row at this tournament before scraping past countryman Marco Chiudinelli 6-7(1), 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday. Young qualified for the main draw and then parlayed that success into a 6-4, 6-2 beatdown of Illya Marchenko on Monday. The 83rd-ranked American is 18-20 for the season and coming off consecutive first-round exits in Tokyo and Stockholm. Nothing suggests this will be routine for Wawrinka, but the favorite should be able to survive a close one–just as he did against Chiudinelli.

Pick: Wawrinka in 3

(5) David Goffin vs. (WC) Juan Martin Del Potro

Goffin’s World Tour Finals bid suffered a blow when he squandered two match points and lost to Diego Schwartzman in last week’s Antwerp semifinals. But the 11th-ranked Belgian is back on the court in Basel and opened with a clutch 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Marcos Baghdatis on Tuesday. Goffin, who is 190 points behind Berdych in the race for the No. 8 spot, is 47-22 for the season and 10-3 in his last three events.
Goffin 3
The draw does not get any easier with Del Potro up next on Thursday and Kei Nishikori awaiting the winner. This marks the second career showdown between Goffin and Del Potro, as they just faced each other at the Shanghai Masters. Goffin was coming off a long week in Tokyo (finished runner-up to Nick Kyrgios), but he made a quick recovery to outlast Del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Now it is the 42nd-ranked Argentine trying to maintain momentum from a successful week; he captured his first title of the season last Sunday in Stockholm. Del Potro showed no signs of wear and tear on Wednesday, when he took care of Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4. Look for a red-hot Del Potro to exact some revenge on Goffin, in part because the pressure is all on the No. 5 seed.

Pick: Del Potro in 2

17 Comments on Basel R2 previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Young, Goffin vs. Del Potro

  1. Thiem has to get another easy hold. But…was up 40-0. mentally checks out and now it’s deuce. Finally he holds serve. There’s some hope. 5-4.

  2. What was Stan doing behind his towel during the change of ends? He had something in his hand which he used on his face then slipped it into his bag.

    • It might have been the cream he uses to disguise his red nose. If you watch carefully you’ll notice he tries to avoid touching it when he wipes his face but it often becomes bright red during the course of the match. I gather it gets quite hot in the stadium under all the bright lights.


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