Basel R2 previews and predictions: Federer vs. Paire, Mannarino vs. Shapovalov

Benoit Paire is next up for Roger Federer on Thursday as the 36-year-old Swiss aims for an eighth title in Basel. Second-round action is also wrapping up with a showdown between Adrian Mannarino and Denis Shapovalov.

(1) Roger Federer vs. Benoit Paire

Federer and Paire will be going head-to-head for the fifth time in their careers when they clash in the Swiss Indoors Basel second round on Wednesday. All four of their previous encounters have gone the way of Federer, who is a perfect 9-0 in total sets at Paire’s expense. The Swiss has issued two breadsticks, a trio of 6-2 performances, and only one set has been more competitive than 6-4 (a tiebreaker during semifinal action at the 2013 Rome Masters). Their most recent meeting came early this season in Dubai, where Federer cruised 6-1, 6-3.

Thanks to mostly clean health, smart scheduling, and simply phenomenal tennis, the 36-year-old is 45-4 in 2017 with six titles–including two of the Grand Slam variety. He kicked off his bid for an eighth Basel title by hammering Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3 on Tuesday. Paire punched his ticket to the last 16 by beating Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-6(4). The Frenchman is a mediocre 31-29 this season and appears to be missing out on 2018 Australian Open seeding at No. 40 in the rankings. Paire has rarely been competitive with Federer and there is no reason to think anything will be different on Federer’s Swiss stomping grounds.

Pick: Federer in 2 losing 5-7 games

Denis Shapovalov vs. (7) Adrian Mannarino

Mannarino and Shapovalov will be squaring off for the second time in their careers on Thursday. Their only previous contest came this summer on the hard courts of Montreal, where Shapovalov delivered in front of the home Canadian crowd to the tune of a surprising semifinal showing. Mannarino was the last man he beat, scoring a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 quarterfinal victory before finally succumbing to Alexander Zverev. With momentum in hand, the 18-year-old made a run to the U.S. Open fourth round as a qualifier. Somewhat understandably, Shapovalov cooled off at the beginning of the fall swing with first-round exits in Shanghai (Viktor Troicki) and Antwerp (Ernesto Escobedo). The world No. 49 avoided that same fate in Basel by battling past Yuichi Sugita 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(3) on Monday.

Mannarino is also in the midst of his best season on tour. The Frenchman owns a 31-25 record at the ATP level and currently registers one spot off his career-high ranking at No. 28. He reached the third and fourth finals of his career in Antalya and Tokyo before making a semifinal appearance last week in Moscow. Mannarino maintained his fine form on Wednesday with a 7-6(0), 4-6, 6-1 defeat of Ruben Bemelmans. This is a good opportunity for the confident seventh seed, as Shapovalov is no longer playing the best tennis of life and does not have home-court advantage this time around.

Pick: Mannarino in 2

12 Comments on Basel R2 previews and predictions: Federer vs. Paire, Mannarino vs. Shapovalov

  1. Federer, in exact same score line as last match except reverse order- 6-3, 6-1. And I’ll go Mannarino in 3, although that one could go either way.

  2. I think Denis Shapovalov vs. (7) Adrian Mannarino match will be a 3-setter.

    If you observed the last match of Shapovalov vs Sugita, you can see that Shapovalov has picked up form again.

    The fact that Shapovalov beat an in-form Sugita shows that Shapovalov is in good form now. You can feel that by his pumping of hands and screams which he used to do when he was on fire @ 2017 Montreal Open and 2017 US Open.

    So Mannarino is gonna face very stiff fight from Shapovalov tomorrow. Baby Rhyno(mannarino)!lol will need atleast 3 sets to defeat Shapovalov. Shapovalov with his newly found form and huge size and power advantage can beat Baby Rhyno(mannarino)!lol again for the 2nd time. 1st time Shapo beat 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the QF of the Montreal Open this year.

    Baby Rhyno(mannarino)!lol is NOT in top form. He struggled to beat a low ranked Ruben 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 in 3 sets when he was expected to win in 2 sets. before this match Manna lost to another low level player Berankisssss who used to kiss everybody’s….let’s say face!lol Couple of matches before Baby Rhyno(mannarino)!lol lost to Kevin Anderson who was gassed and tired and out of form. He lost twice to Thiem who is not a good hard court player! All this shows that Manna is on having just OK form and is surviving due to his better return skills.

    Since Shapo has found some form, if he can up that intensity/form he can beat Baby Rhyno(mannarino)!lol in 3 sets also. But just going with the over.

    In the (1) Roger Federer vs. Benoit Paire Match

    FED(erer) will be FED up of thrashing Paire and will pair, paire with a lopsided loss and send him back to Paris! Fed in 2, 1st & 2nd set win. Paire may make it tight in 1 set. The fizzle out in the other.

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