There were no real surprises in Basel this week as the top two seeds both reached the finals. That means it’s Roger Federer and Juan Martin Del Potro Sunday! Both guys seem to be in good form, especially the Argentine who just won Vienna and enters the championships bout riding an 8-match winning streak.
But Federer will be the prohibitive home favorite who’s playing in his ninth Basel final. Roger also owns a decisive head-to-head edge over Del Potro 13-2 however the last two have been marathon cliffhangers both won by the Swiss 19-17 at the Olympics and then in five at the French Open.
“I played better than yesterday. I know I have to play better tomorrow if I want to win this tournament,” said Del Potro after a 6-2, 6-2 win over Richard Gasquet. “I’m going step by step and enjoying this victory against Gasquet. It’s going to be a difficult final for me but I will be ready to play.”
At stake for Federer is not just a 7th title this year but No. 77 overall which would tie him with John McEnroe on the all-time list. After beating Paul-Henri Mathieu today 7-5, 6-4 he’s also at win No. 875, also equal with McEnroe.
“I’m excited about playing Juan Martin in the final. It’s great seeing him backing up his win in Vienna. We’ve played six times already this season. We had a couple of tough ones at [Roland Garros] and the Olympics. We can look back at some great matches and hopefully live up to another one tomorrow. I’m ready to go.”
As for a pick, Del Potro certainly is the hotter player but playing in Basel and having won all six meetings this year in the series I have to give a very slight edge to Federer.
In the Valencia final it’s David Ferrer against Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Tennis Channel as the Basel at 10am followed by the Valencia title match. Both on tape.
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ATP London Race (20 Oct 14): Murray Moves Ahead; Federer Looks To Close No. 1 Gap In Basel
Del Potro Joins Federer In London Final, Basel Quarterfinals; Almagro Faces Top Seed Ferrer In Valencia
Federer, Del Potro Advance to Basel Semifinals; Ferrer Dominates In Valencia
Fresh Federer Faces Del Potro In 2012 Basel Title Rematch; Ferrer In Valencia Final