ATP Picks: Valencia and Basel

It’s 2 big 500 tournaments with plenty of points available for those in the hunt for a place at the London Finals.

Valencia Open 500Valencia Open 500

Players to watch with regards London, are Haas, Isner and Almagro all with outside shots at qualifying. Only Haas has any real chance. He’ll have to win here or in Paris.

Hometown hero David Ferrer is top seed with Spanish wildcards going to up-and-comer Roberto Bautista Agut, Fernando Verdasco and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

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Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 500

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion: David Ferrer – Narrowly lost to Dimitrov in Stockholm, but will probably be re-charged for his hometown event.

Nasty Floater: Ernests ‘Lights Out’ Gulbis – Gets Isner round 1 and could rip through the draw. We’ll see which Ernest shows up.

Veteran Watch:
 Tommy Haas – Won his 15th title in Vienna last week at 35. The German is The Terminator!

Up and Coming:  Joao Sousa – Won his maiden title this year and qualified for the draw. Gets wildcard Garcia-Lopez round 1.

Slumping: Bernard Tomic – Been quiet of late with poor results. Gets the tough Youzhny round 1.

On Fire: Tommy Haas – See above.

My pick: David Ferrer – Playing it safe but his odds are good against an unpredictable draw.

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 BaselSwiss Indoors Basel

It’s a big chance for Gasquet to qualify for London who is right behind Federer and Wawrinka. He could really spoil the Swiss party here.

Swiss wildcards go to Henri Laaksonen (21) and Marco Chiudinelli (32), while Alex Dolgopolov gets the third.

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Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 500

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion:
Juan Martin Del Potro – Comes into Basel after a strong run on the Asian hard courts. Defeated Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) in last year’s final.

Nasty Floater:
Ivo Karlovic – Faces Berdych in round 1 and could serve him off court.

Veteran Watch: Radek Stepanek – Get’s young’un Dimitrov in, which should be entertaining. Still has the goods on fast indoor courts.

Up and Coming: Kenny De Schepper  – Although 26, he’s a late bloomer. At 6’8″ a real danger man on fast surfaces. 

Slumping: Roger Federer – A loss 2 weeks ago to Monfils is the least of it. Needs a big tournament to stay relevant and qualify for London.

On Fire: Grigor Dimitrov – Won in Stockholm last week and his confidence will be sky high. A possible meeting with idol Federer in quarter finals.

My pick: Juan Del Potro – Been hot the last few weeks and apart from Federer or Berdych, not threatened.

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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