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ATP Week Ahead: Basel, Valencia

Posted by gauloises1 on November 2, 2009

With the big guns on the WTA side frantically jetting off in search of beaches and cocktails (although there’s still Bali and Fed Cup to come), the men are stepping it up this week with two 500s. Two places still up for grabs in London, let’s not forget.

Basel

roger federer basel trophy 2008

Draw here.

Yep, that Swiss guy’s back and heading a draw that also features Blake, Gonzo, Gasquet, Steps, Karlovic, Wawrinka, Djokovic and Marin Cilic (wildcarded in after JMDP’s wrist-related withdrawal). Even if Federer hasn’t picked up a racquet since the US Open final (unlikely), it’s hard not to see him getting to the final. Both Blake and Gonzo, who are in his half, have potentially tough draws; Blake has Jeremy Chardy in the first round (although he’s in a bit of a funk of late), while Gonzo will have to deal with John Isner right off the bat (also somewhat funky). There’s a chance of a Gonzo-Gasquet second round, however, which would be a dream; remember their fantastic five-setter at the Australian Open this year?

In the bottom half, Marin has a good shot at a semifinal at least, providing he’s not too cream-crackered after Vienna, although he could meet Davis Cup nemesis Radek Stepanek in the quarters. In the bottom quarter, Djokovic should have a fairly easy ride until he meets the winner of the Wawrinka-Ljubicic first round, but I still see him getting to the finals, even if he does meet Marin in the semis; he seems to more or less relish taking on Cilic. I’m crossing my fingers for a Federer-Djokovic final …

Valencia 

david ferrer valencia trophy 2008

Draw here.

For me and for a lot of other people, the big question mark of the Valencia draw is Andy Murray, who hasn’t played since Great Britain’s disastrous Davis Cup tie against Poland. How is the wrist and what kind of shape is he in? If he’s in OK nick, he doesn’t have a bad draw at all; wildcard Gimeno-Traver in the first, followed by the winner of Horseface-Andreev. Almagro or Ferru could await in the quarters, but I think Murray would be OK against either. The main obstacle comes in the shape of Fernando Verdasco, a possible semi-final opponent and firmly in the hunt for a London spot (currently sitting at 8th in the race).

The bottom half of the draw is definitely more fun. Anchored by Gilles and Kolya, with the latter looking to clinch his London place, the first rounds alone look all kinds of interesting; Simon-Kunitsyn, Berdych-Mathieu, Boss-Cuevas, Youzhny-Tsonga, and Monfils-Granollers, with Pico and Garcia-Lopez kicking around in there as well. It’s very hard to predict what’s going to happen here, but I’m going to do it anyway; Kolya will outsteady everyone and win the whole thing. There.

3 Responses to “ATP Week Ahead: Basel, Valencia”

  1. irefusetotellyou said

    Hmmmm. I’m really interested to see the sort of shape Fed and Muzzaluzz are going to be in; a pretty interesting draw on both sides, too.

    Wouldn’t it be great, though, if Boss won Valencia? And then he could be like, “Wow, I’d like to thank the tournament owners for all their hard work?” And then he could REALLY pat himself on the back. (Guess Ferru could do the same.)

    Ok. Maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but. Still. Think about it.

  2. Arun said

    > remember their fantastic five-setter at the Australian Open this year?
    haaa.

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