ATP Picks: Valencia and Basel

It’s 2 big 500 tournaments with plenty of points available and a farewell to a great player.

Valencia Open 500Valencia

After 14 years on the ATP World Tour, former World No. 1 and 2003 Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero will bow out from professional tennis at the Valencia Open 500. “It’s the best possible stage for me to retire,” said Ferrero, who won the title in 1999 (d. Corretja) and 2003 (d. C. Rochus).

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 500

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion: Marcel Granollers – Had a miracle run to the title last year, which will be tough to repeat.

Nasty Floater: Tommy ‘Gun’ Haas – Loads here, but Tommy gets my vote.

Veteran Watch:
 Juan Carlos Ferrero – The Mosquito’s final tournament will be a tearful one, as he brings to a close a glittering career. He faces Nicolas Almagro in the first round.

Up and Coming: David ‘The Boffin’ Goffin – David’s already through to the 2nd round, where he could face his Goliath in Isner.

Slumping: Xavier Malisse – Not enjoying the indoor season so far and gets Tsonga 1st round to add to his woes.

On Fire: Jo ‘Willy’ Tsonga – A final in Vienna last week and looking to lock in his place in London.

My pick: Jo Tsonga – Needs the win, wants the win, will get the win.

Did You Know? The Valencia tournament was reborn in 2009, transitioning from a spring clay court event to an indoor hard court ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

Swiss Indoors BaselBasel

Murray pulled out, so Federer will have an easier time chasing a record 6th title here. He needs vital points in the battle with Novak Djokovic to finish year-end World No. 1 too.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 500

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion: 
Roger Federer – An irritating loss to Murray in Shanghai, so Roger will want to gain some momentum again headed into Paris and London.

Nasty Floater:
Julien ‘United Colors Of’ Benneteau – He won’t win here of course, but might run deep.

Veteran Watch: Nikolay Davydenko – The machine could break down against Wawrinka. Playing for money at this point.

Up and Coming: Marinko Matosevic – Finds himself in an unpleasant quarter of the draw but still one to watch.

Slumping: Robin Haase – Finding no respite from the tough draws. Gets Gasquet here.

On Fire: Andreas Seppi – Won Moscow last week for his 3rd title and almost into the top 20. A career year for the Italian.

My pick: Roger Federer – Gotta go with Rog now that Murray pulled out.

Did You Know? Roger Federer, who once served as a ball boy at the Swiss Indoors Basel, fittingly became the first player to win five titles at his hometown tournament in 2011.

Thanks for reading and check back next week for more picks and amusement!

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