Basel and Vienna previews and predictions

The second to last week of tennis’ regular season (pre-World Tour Finals) is here, with a pair of 500-point tournaments on the schedule. Roger Federer headlines the Basel field and is joined by Marin Cilic, David Goffin, and Juan Martin Del Potro. In Vienna, meanwhile, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem are among those battling for the title.

Swiss Indoors Basel

Where: Basel, Switzerland
Surface: Indoor hard
Prize money
: 1,837,425 Euros
Points
: 500

Top seed: Roger Federer
Defending champion: Marin Cilic

Draw analysis: Federer does not have Rafael Nadal to deal with in Basel, although that would not necessarily have been an issue for the 36-year-old Swiss based on their 2017 head-to-head history. And it also does not necessarily mean that Federer has an easy path to what would be an eighth career title at this event. The No. 1 seed opens with familiar foe Frances Tiafoe, who has tested him in a pair of competitive meetings this season. Federer would then face either Benoit Paire or Steve Johnson in round two before possible dates with Denis Shapovalov (quarterfinals) and Goffin (semis).

Goffin and Del Potro are the two Basel competitors whose World Tour Finals statuses is still up in the air. Del Potro needs a title in order to put himself in serious contention, otherwise he would likely have to win next week’s Paris Masters. The recent Stockholm champion should coast through two matches before potentially running into Roberto Bautista Agut. Cilic, who is set to make another appearance in London, has the most favorable road through the draw of anyone in the Basel field.

Hot: Roger Federer, David Goffin, Juan Martin Del Potro, Adrian Mannarino, Marton Fucsovics, Peter Gojowyczk

Cold: Jack Sock, Vasek Pospisil

Quarterfinal predictions: Roger Federer over Adrian Mannarino, David Goffin over Robin Haase, Roberto Bautista Agut over Juan Martin Del Potro, and Marin Cilic over Jared Donaldson

Semifinals: Federer over Goffin and Cilic over Bautista Agut

Final: Federer over Cilic

Erste Bank Open

Where: Vienna, Austria
Surface: Indoor hard
Points
: 500
Prize money
: 2,035,415 Euros

Top seed: Alexander Zverev
2016 champion: Andy Murray (not playing)

Draw analysis: World Tour Finals hopefuls Sam Querrey and Kevin Anderson are on a collision course for a semifinal showdown in the bottom half of the Vienna bracket. Somewhat understandably, Anderson has cooled off significantly since making a surprise run to the U.S. Open final. The 6’8’’ South African is a wide open quarter of the Vienna draw because Thiem is mired in a hard-court slump, but Anderson could be troubled by Lucas Pouille in round two. Another U.S. Open upstart, Andrey Rublev, will likely give the second-seeded Austrian problems in round one. Querrey is in a softer section because No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov withdrew citing fatigue.

Zverev, who is making his debut at the O2 Arena next month, could continue his campaign with two very different Frenchmen. The 20-year-old German, a three-set winner over Viktor Troicki on Monday, will run into Gilles Simon in round two and possible Antwerp champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarters. A red-hot Diego Schwartzman has a good opportunity to make a semifinal run out of a section in which the seeds are—or were—Pablo Carreno Busta and John Isner.

Hot: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Damir Dzumhur, Ricardas Berankis, Diego Schwartzman, Andrey Rublev

Cold: Dominic Thiem, Gilles Simon, Karen Khachanov, Pablo Cuevas, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Quarterfinal predictions: Alexander Zverev over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Diego Schwartzman over Philipp Kohlschreiber, Grigor Dimitrov over Sam Querrey, and Lucas Pouille over Richard Gasquet

Semifinals: Zverev over Schwartzman and Dimitrov over Pouille

Final: Zverev over Dimitrov

Comments and your own predictions are appreciated!

29 Comments on Basel and Vienna previews and predictions

  1. I had Dimitrov beating Tsonga in the final but having seen how slow the courts are I wish I’d picked Zverev in final

    Also wished I’d picked Kohlschreiber to beat Isner.Got it wrong,but
    I was under impression that Isner had won their last meeting,
    Also,I forgot it’s Austria,Kohly is a local and plays well there.

    • Don’t think Dimi is in the draw anymore. He has withdrawn, I’m afraid.

      I hope Tsonga wins this and at least be one of the alternates if he can’t qualify for the WTF. I feel Sasha may withdraw from WTF, after his Nextgen 21 and under event the week before the WTF, so Tsonga may get to play.

      • Shasha would never play the Next Gen finals but skip the WTF… If anything, he will skip the Next gen one. I’ve actually been assuming he will automatically be skipping the Next Gen one ever since he qualified for London. The organizers of Next gen finals must have known that if any of them actually qualified for the WTF that that would mean they would likely skip the Next Gen one. They probably didn’t think that any next Gen guys would actually make WTF haha, let alone win two masters events in a season!

        • Don’t think so. I think they will award points for the NextGen event, so Sasha would gain more points there I feel, he’s not going to gain many points at the WTF, with the top eight guys there.

          Also, Sasha won’t have many more chances to play at Nextgen for he’ll soon be older than 21. However, he will many more opportunities to play at WTF going forward.

    • It will take a pretty extraordinary effort on Delpo’s part to win Basel when it’s his third straight week, and he went deep or won in both tournies. If he were to make the final, that would be a crazy amount of tennis. If he were to face Federer in the final, it would be an incredible achievement to beat Fed after playing three weeks straight of tennis. There are only a few players who would be capable of that in their third straight week, and DelPo is definitely one of them! If he did it in 2012 when Fed was world #1, he can do it this year. That being said, I can’t pretend like Federer is not at least the slight favorite to win Basel… I want nothing but the best for DelPo, and he is a capable of beating ANYONE on a fast court, but there is no questioning how challenging a Basel final against 2017 Fed would be for DelPo. Let’s hope they meet in the final!

  2. What happened to Anderson? After reaching final at USO, he has practically done nothing, losing early in all his events. He’s about to lose to GGL, I mean GGL, who has also not done anything of note lately?

    I think it’s safe to say that Anderson will be out of contention for the WTF remaining places.

    • I dunno, but Anderson has definitely crashed and burned after the USO finals. I just watched a match for Loser of the Year between Sock and Pospisil. Sock won but looked exhausted. Maybe from lack of play? He’s lost 5 in a row so he can’t have overplayed. Possibly over partied. Maybe it’s just that time of year when no one’s got much left.

      • He and PCB both. I expected this to happen with PCB because this is a surface he doesn’t have a great game for but Anderson? I’m shocked at the level he has shown since the US Open.

  3. Vienna –
    QF:
    Zverev over Dzumhur
    Isner over Schwartzman
    Edmund over Struff
    Thiem over Pouille
    SF:
    Zverev over Isner
    Thiem over Edmund
    Final:
    Thiem over Zverev

    • Obviously Isner can’t make the semis anymore. I thought he would beat Kohlschreiber because of a pretty odd stat actually. He is 4-0 vs kohlschreiber outside of the US (now 4-1) and 0-3 vs kohlschreiber in the US. I wouldn’t expect that from John but seems like he typically enjoys playing Kohl outside of the US more.

      • Yeah strange one Ben.That’s a stat peculiar to the US Open ,or maybe Slams in general. ie , John is better suited to best of three.
        Or maybe we’re overanalysing…John did have enough chances in this latest match , and all were close .

  4. Basel –
    QF:
    Federer over Mannarino
    Goffin over Haase
    Del Potro over Bautista Agut
    Cilic over Donaldson
    SF:
    Federer over Goffin
    Cilic over Del Potro
    Final:
    Federer over Cilic

  5. Sam Querry, Kevin Anderson and John Isner are becoming trash. They are losing (to spanish dogs like ARV!lol) more as their returning skills are going to dogs!lol Probably the big fellas (Sam Querry, Kevin Anderson and John Isner etc.) are out of gas as the year end approaches!

    So from now onwards (until 2018 season starts) I am gonna fade all big bodies/big fellas like Sam Querry, Kevin Anderson and John Isner, more or less blindly against anyone!lol Exceptions are Maric Cilic & Delpo (they are under intense observation. Delpo may gassss… soon in Basel, I feel. Need to figure out when! He has made enough money also!lol)!

  6. I just noticed an interesting stat. Federer won 100% of his first serve points today against Tiafoe. 21 out of 21. How often has that occurred in his matches? That means that all 8 points Tiafoe won were on Fed’s second serve. Fed only served 53% first serves in, so either he defended his second serve really well, or Tiafoe is a garbage returner. Or maybe a combo?

    • I didn’t watch the match since it was a beatdown, but I assume Federer simply had an excellent serving day. Tiafoe isn’t a great player – he gave Fed a hard time at the USO because Fed simply was not in shape for it.

      • Yeah, you’re right, Ramara… Tiafoe has a long way to go before making any noise on the tour level. He has a big game, but weak backhand and seems to not have much variety in the way of strategy. He seems like a nice guy, otherwise. Cool backstory. But he’s done very little outside of Challengers. Ironically, it was probably his loss to Fed that was his best moment thus far!

        • Well he could easily make some noise on the tour especially at some smaller US events but he doesn’t really have the consistency down yet as he is still young and a raw talent. Was top 60 earlier in the year and currently inside the top 80 so he at least has a spot at the Aussie next year where he could take advantage of a good draw especially if many of the injured top guys re still rusty or injured (which is probably likely).

  7. Dimi and Cilic have qualified for the WTF. I think the next 2 places will be taken up by two of Goffin, Carreño-Busta and Delpo.

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