What’s coming out of the taps in Basel? Whether it’s Lindt chocolate or clean, crisp natural spring water, we have three Swiss players into the Basel quarterfinals on Friday. The last and only other time Basel saw three Swiss in the quarterfinals was eight years ago, when Federer, George Bastl and Michel Kratochvil made it through. (via the ATP)
Unless you’re a pretty hard-core Federer fan (or Swiss) it’s hard to even name three Swiss players on the tour. There’s Roger, of course, and ol’ Stanislas Wawrinka and. . .Marco Chiudinelli? You do know Marco, right? He was a guest at Roger’s wedding! He also finished last year at No. 779 in the world, after a year off with injury. Since then, he’s climbed to a career-best ranking of No. 71 last week and is now a candidate for the ATP’s Comeback Player of the Year. A Swiss with an upside – like the Alps.
But no Swiss is safe as long as Novak Djokovic sticks around. He double-bageled Jan Hernych on Thursday on his way to the quarters.
Here’s the order of play in Basel on Friday:
Stepanek vs. Cilic
Wawrinka vs. Djokovic
Chiudinelli vs. Gasquet
Federer vs. Korolev
It’s nice to see Richard Gasquet back in the mix and playing well after his suspension. He fought through a tough three setter on Thursday, saving match points against John Isner, and it was a pleasure watching him play. That backhand belongs in a museum – or on a stage.
Here’s Richard talking about Thursday’s victory and his return to tour:
In Valencia, Andy Murray survived losing the second set to Leonardo Mayer and will advance to the quarterfinals. Defending champ David Ferrer withdrew from his match against Albert Montanes due to a hamstring injury and is out of contention for the World Tour Finals (otherwise known as the WTF). Davydenko and Verdasco both kept their hopes for London alive by winning their matches.
Here’s Friday’s order of play in Valencia:
Youzhny vs. Simon
Murray vs. Montanes
Garcia-Lopez vs. Davydenko
Verdasco vs. Robredo
I guess I should point out that four Spaniards made it to the quarters in Valencia, but that’s really not too surprising, is it?
This video shows off the stupendous (stupefying?) new tennis complex in Valencia. The Ágora building, which holds the center court, is straight out of a science fiction movie. Check it out: