ATP Valencia/Basel: Preview and Predictions

There are two ATP 500 events this week in Valencia and Basel… lets take a look at the draws.

David Ferrer
ATP Valencia
A very strong line-up is heading to the indoor event in Valencia with David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga headlining the draw.  Ferrer’s quarter features four other Spaniards including Juan Carlos Ferrero who plays his final tournament before retirement.  Nicolas Almagro is Ferrer’s projected opponent; Ferrer has won their three encounters in 2012 and has yet to lose a match to Almagro in all their 11 encounters.  Last year’s finalist, Juan Monaco is in a strong second quarter that also features Marin Cilic, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Fernando Verdasco and Lleyton Hewitt… watch out for the German.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has had a gruelling schedule of late having played in Metz, Beijing, Shanghai, Stockholm and now Valencia.  He is currently still in Stockholm where he has made the final.  I therefore believe he will not have a successful week in Valencia.  He takes on Xavier Malisse in the first round and is likely to meet John Isner in the quarter-finals.  In the final quarter, Milos Raonic and Janko Tipsarevic are projected to clash in the quarter-finals.  Raonic could face Alexandr Dolgopolov for the first time in his career if they both win their openers, meanwhile Tipsarevic has drawn Giles Simon once more with the winner likely to take on the defending champion, Marcel Granollers… tough!
Final Prediction – David Ferrer d. John Isner
1st Round Predictions – Monaco to beat Hewitt in 2 tight sets, Cilic to beat Klizan in 2 sets, Dolgopolov to beat Volandri in 2 sets, Simon to beat Tipsarevic in 3 sets and Goffin to beat Andujar in 2 sets.
ATP Basel
Roger Federer
Roger Federer once again takes the limelight in his home tournament of Basel and will be confident of claiming his sixth title here.  He opens up against Jeremy Chardy and is projected to meet Moscow finalist, Andreas SeppiStanislas Wawrinka will also be carrying the cheers of the home crowd and has a good opportunity to at least make the semi-finals.  His first seeded opponent, Viktor Troicki is unlikely to get past Grigor Dimitrov in round one or Julien Benneteau in round two; the latter I think I will win several rounds here.
Juan Martin Del Potro has reached the final this week of a tournament in Austria, which is the first time he has played since the Davis Cup tie in September.  He takes on Alejandro Falla in the first round and should meet Florian Mayer in the quarter-finals.  Richard Gasquet and Mikhail Youzhny are the two remaining seeds who will battle it out in the third section of the draw.
Final Prediction – Roger Federer d. Florian Mayer
1st Round Predictions – Federer to beat Chardy in 2 tight sets, Seppi to beat Paire in 3 sets, Wawrinka to beat Davydenko in 2 sets, Dimitrov to beat Troicki in 2 sets and Youzhny to beat Tomic in 2 sets.

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