Federer, Djokovic Close In On Basel Final; Del Potro Stays In London Hunt
by Sean Randall | November 4th, 2011, 11:07 pm

Roger Federer did was Roger Federer does to Andy Roddick, and that’s whip him. Today, Federer won his 21st match in 23 tries against Roddick dismantling the American 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals at the Basel Swiss Indoors.

In this matchup of former No. 1s, Federer never was broken as he cracked Roddick’s serve three times.

“We’ve played on so many occasions that sometimes you can’t play your best, and that’s what happened to Andy today,” said Federer after his best match of the tournament. “He didn’t have a very good serving day and then once I get a chance to get into all his service games, it’s always going to be difficult for him to find a way.”

Once again Roddick looked like he had little power from the backcourt, especially off the backhand which Federer picked apart.

Federer now meets countryman Stan Wawrinka who knocked out Florian Mayer.

“This is the first time I’ve played Stan here in Switzerland,” said Federer who is 9-1 against Stan. “We’ve faced off together 10 times and playing back in Switzerland is particularly special because I come from this town and Stan’s not too far away either. I think it’s a special occasion for Swiss tennis and the Swiss fans. He played incredibly well today, so I think this is going to be the test of the tournament for me so far.”

In the earlier semifinal, top seed Novak Djokovic clashes with surprising Kei Nishikori. Watching some of the Novak today the Serb really looked out of sorts in the first set – lots of bad errors and lackluster play – but pulled it together to beat Marcos Baghdatis 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

“A win is a win,” said Djokovic. “It was a close match. I’ve got to give credit to him because he played really well. He served throughout the whole match really well. I managed to get a couple of crucial breaks towards the end of the second and start of the third set and I think that decided the match.”

Nishikori’s a solid player who could trouble Novak if he gets into another one of those funks we saw today and he is playing with a lot of confidence.

“Djokovic is playing unbelievable this year,” Nishikori said. “He doesn’t have many weaknesses, so I will need to play a bit more aggressive than usual and play my best tennis to beat him.”

Yes you will, Kei.

So one day away from a potential blockbuster Federer-Djokovic final, and I think we’ll see it. Stan wouldn’t really beat Federer in his hometown, would he? And Novak should get his game on track against Nishikori who’ll give the World No. 1 a lot of rhythm.

In Valencia, Juan Martin Del Potro kept alive his slim chances of qualifying for London by beating Sam Querrey 6-2, 7-5 to reach the semifinals. If nothing else, at least Del Potro is finishing the year on a high note.

Delpo now plays Marcel Granollers, an upset winner over Gael Monfils. Like JW Tsonga yesterday, my guess is Monfils had plans in Paris this weekend!

In the second semifinal, defending champion David Ferrer faces Juan Monaco.

Tennis Channel has live Basel semifinals from 930am ET. The Valencia semis will be on tape starting at 8pm ET.


CENTER COURT start 12:30
[1] M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs I Dodig (CRO) / V Troicki (SRB)

Not Before 14:30
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [WC] K Nishikori (JPN)
[3] R Federer (SUI) vs S Wawrinka (SUI)
X Malisse (BEL) / D Norman (BEL) vs [2] M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN) – After Suitable Rest


AGORA start 1:30 pm
K Anderson (RSA) / J Isner (USA) vs E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO)

Not Before 4:00 PM
M Granollers (ESP) vs [6] J Del Potro (ARG)

Not Before 8:00 PM
[1] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] J Monaco (ARG)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs M Melo (BRA) / B Soares (BRA)

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65 Comments for Federer, Djokovic Close In On Basel Final; Del Potro Stays In London Hunt

CM Says:

Nice one Sean thanks.

Stella Says:

And yes I think Monfils just wanted the practise time before Paris!!!

Roger played awesome!!!

Humble Rafa Says:

For fans of The Lady Forehand aka Andy Murray, he is on the front page of yahoo.com

No, he didn’t win a grand slam. LOL. Yahoo likes his sore bottom, that is all.

margot Says:

Bad news for Nole, Nishikori breaks again and trainer on again :( Love watching N though, fabulous gracegul mover.
Hamble Rufa: go play ping pong on Rout 66.

margot Says:

Nishikori playing inspired tennis takes the second set. Some beautiful rallies, apart from Nole being sub-par and playing too many UEs, gr8 match.
Now N has medical time out.

Colin Says:

Nishikori wins the second set. The further we get in this tournament, the more I regret Murray’s injury. He could very well have won Basel.
On the BBC website it says the doctors think his problem may be related to the sciatic nerve. That does not sound good.

margot Says:

Colin: Me too, me too :( Sciatic nerve, if it’s so, very bad news, would mean he’s out of WTF as well :(
Nole clearly struggling and can’t seem to raise his game. Even if he pulls this out, can’t see him beating Fed.
Now 3-0, Nole needs something really special.

skeezerweezer Says:

Wow Nishi is up 5-0 in the 3rd???

Dory Says:

z OMG! Novak lost!!!!!! Anyone watched? I couldn’t believe my eyes in the 3rd set! Novak’s shoulder is injured but obviously Nishikori deserves all the credit. Played very well. I hope Novak doesn’t withdraw from Paris.

margot Says:

Well played Nishikori but poor, poor Nole :( This could mean the end of his Paris and WTF hopes. He’s had such a long rest from tennis and now this :(
Now I see Granollers, who has played beautiful tennis all week, has taken the first set. Come on :)

Colin Says:

Well, there, as they say, is a turn up for the book!
Now all we need is Federer to lose, which is more likely (or less unlikely) than it would have been a couple of years ago.
As for Murray, he played amazingly well in – was it Monte Carlo? – with an arm full of cortisone. I wonder how he’d do with his botty full of the stuff!

jane Says:

Congrats to Kei, he played well and deserves the win. But am sad for Nole who is still not 100% by the looks of things. :(

Kimmi Says:

OMG, just got back and VERY surprised to see kei beat djokovic. Congrats to kei.. unbelievable run. what happened, why the bagel in the third set?

Kimberly Says:

what happened?

Kimberly Says:

i mean I know he lost the third set but clearly something is going on

jane Says:

Firstly Kei played inspired, lovely tennis from the second set on, and frankly Nole ‘s form has been uneven all week. He struggled versus both X-Man and Baggy too. But I suspect his right serving shoulder is still injured, and fear that this may be a chronic thing, kind of like Rafa’s knees – though they seem to be better now, don’t they? Anyhow, I am sure we will find out more. Personally I hope he was just outplayed and that it isn’t his shoulder. Would rather he lose than not be able to play at all!!

carlo Says:

Not to take anything away from Granollers, he’s been great all week but del Potro was clearly struggling with something from the start of the match. Well, this is a weird day for tennis.

Kei also took it to a struggling Djokovic. That’s tennis.

Federer isn’t sick or injured. Has Wawarinka suddenly realized he can win this match? I’d be very happy for Wawrinka to win Basel!

Kimberly Says:

Delpo just lost too know. Attrition, clearly the season is too long. Not the same players we saw in Indian Wells and Miami.

Lulu Iberica Says:

What is up with Fed and Stan? Is Stan suddenly playing great or is Fed choking?

Lulu Iberica Says:

Ok, I see Fed has taken the first set! Good!

Kimberly Says:

Fed takes the tiebreak.

Kimmi Says:

WOOO wawa playing so well, still could not get the set. Hope fed can go and win this..

carlo Says:

Del Potro played so well yesterday. He was hitting the forehand better than ever like his confidence in the wrist had returned. He took a MTO (not surprising) after losing the 1st set. I think he was saying he was sick. It wasn’t an injury. At least I hope it wasn’t.

jane Says:

Apparently, according to the ATP site, Nole’s only ever taken 6 bagels, including today’s. This is the first since IW 2010 versus Fish.

Have Fed and Nishikori ever played? Tall order for Kei to beat Fed at home or anywhere, but nice of him to have reached the finals.

carlo Says:

Roger has never played Kei. Could be a good match.

Kimmi Says:

YAY! Rogi

dari Says:

fed was hit hard from the baseline today, bh too.

maybe it is just because it has been a while since i have seen him play, but i was pretty pleased

mirka’s shirt is excellent

happy saturday all

go rog win basel

dari Says:


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Federer! Very strong finish to the second set after a heroic effort by Wawrinka to keep it close in the first. Hope he can keep it up to take the title.

Sorry Djokovic fans, but he’s had a wonderful season and I’m sure he’ll be back strong in London.

jane Says:

Well things look good for Fed right now; if he plays well and is healthy he could maybe clean up like last year. If Murray and Nole can’t play Paris, and Rafa is out, and Delpo is sick, and Fish is injured Fed could win Paris, potentially, for the first time. Would that also get him closer to taking back number 3? Hmmm. He’d have to defend WTF too though. Interesting. I think i may pick Fed for Paris. Either him or possibly La Monf (who’s been in two finals) or Tsonga (who plays well at home) – but still have to look at draw!

Thanks for nice words steve-o. Yeah, can’t complain about Nole’s season obviously. :) Just want him to be fit and ready to go, is all.

I am happy for Nishikori. He’s a great player, and as Nole said, he gets back “impossible balls” and is fluid at the net too.

jane Says:

That didn’t come out right: we all know Fed could win Paris regardless of the others. What I meant was that he seems to be the “in form” player of the moment, and when Fed is in form he is dangerous to his chief rivals, and lethal to everyone else. So he is in a good position right now to win Basel, Paris and possibly defend WTF. Just not sure what’s up with Rafa and how hard he’ll be gunning for a WTF title. Similarly, not sure what’s up with Muzza, i.e., how serious his injury is, as he was looking like a real contender for the WTF too.

carlo Says:

Would be something if both Kei and Marcel win titles tomorrow.

Granollers must save his best tennis for Valencia, that’s for sure. I don’t really know that much about him. But I liked what I saw. He had to beat Cilic and Monfils and del Potro. Monfils tanked a little, imo.

Waiting for Ferrer and Monaco match to start.

carlo Says:


That is a tall order for Federer. Let’s see if he wins Basel. I looked for information on Murray’s injury. Tough to find anything resembling serious investigative journalism on the subject. lol


Brando Says:

Sad to hear about nole. I think he should stick to what he was doing earlier this year: putting his health first as opposed to tourny’s. Skip Paris an if he slightly doubts his shoulder skip WTF. He’s won both of them before, he has nothing to prove this year, so why risk his preseason when 2012 will certainly be alot if only due to ranking points pressure, being the hunted one etc. Winning WTF would be the cherry on the cake, but the cake is already pretty impressive. Be smart nole.

Brando Says:

Ps: have been reading elsewhere and it does seem to be that he could have some sort of chronic shoulder issue. He has looked slightly hampered when serving since cincy in august this year.

jane Says:

Funny article carlo. I know it may seem like a tall order for Fed. But he is rested and ready, seemingly. And last year at this time, he won Stockholm, Basel, semis in Paris, and won WTF. So he has done it before, and recently too. It looks like he could do it again, too. But we’ll see. Maybe Delpo will be better for Paris as well, and he is always a dark horse. Plus he needs a masters shield to go with his slam, :)

alison hodge Says:

i didnt see this coming,still congrats to kie,i think it just goes to show nothing can be taken for granted,sports very fickle like that i hope theres not too much damage to nole,hes had a fantastic year and doesnt have much left to prove,i agree with brando with a mountain to climb,and so many points to defend next season,a i think its the sensible thing, would be to call time on this season.

carlo Says:

Jane- I was looking for something serious, actually.

Ferrer is wiping Monaco off the court at the moment.

Ferrer played Pospisil and Davydenko. Davydenko is improving but Ferrer hasn’t exactly had the toughest draw in Valencia.

Federer? I dont know. As Kimberly said, it’s about attrition this time of year, I guess. Something has to be said for those who can be good late in the season.

alison hodge Says:

i cannot see kie been much of a problem for roger, but then again i didnt think he would be much of a problem for nole,just goes to show how wrong you can be,rogers been in the back ground a bit lately,so nice to see him in the mix and contesting a final once again,go roger go get that title.

carlo Says:

Kei was a problem for Berdych too. I can’t help cheering for Nishikori. What a big win it would be!

And Monaco broke back. So it’s a match now. Davis Cup Spain vs Argentina.

alison hodge Says:

carlo while the others are suffering from burn out after such a long season,roger is the one out of the top 4,whos always as fresh as a daisy,and plays the best at this time of the year,probably his sensible shedualing and such effortless style of play.

carlo Says:

No. lol. These two are trading breaks like WTA.

carlo Says:

Hi Alison.

My last post was about the Ferrer Monaco match. Didn’t see your post.

Yes. Agree that the last one standing is ( luck ) plus what you say and some other variables, I can’t imagine.

alison hodge Says:

hi carlo sorry i got my threads mixed up a bit,all quite similar conversations on each,confusing me.

carlo Says:

Really? I don’t know where to post. I am just watching Ferrer and Monaco. Ferrer makes me lol. Not laughing at him but at how ridiculously fast he can track down the ball and get it back.

carlo Says:

Medical time out Monaco. He had a nice back massage. I would want one also after losing that set and running that far. Ferrer ran him ragged.

There are reasons to be a Ferrer fan, Allison. At least that’s my opinion.

carlo Says:

No way is Granollers going to keep up with Ferrer running like this.

alison hodge Says:

carlo i agree i love ferrer, ok i dont think hes as talented as some of the others,but his work ethic is fantstic.

carlo Says:

Monaco has not had a good year but he’s finally played some good tennis this match and the one before. He had another time out to get his legs stretched and he’s not giving up. Monaco is an example of someone with maybe more talent but he lacks David’s work ethic. Only a guess from watching them, I don’t know them, ha!

Monaco broke back. This decider is good.

Kimmi Says:

I like Kei very much too. Without taking away credit to murray i dont think Kei played well to lose to muzza 3 and 0 in shanghai. He is a better player than the score suggest. This is his best year so far. As federer said “He was injured a lot and wasn’t able to rise in the rankings like he was capable of….”
what he needs to do is to try stay injury free for a long period of time. i hope he does, he looks a top 10 material to me.

But for tomorrow..go roger.

Kimmi Says:

monaco about to beat ferrer? let me tune to the match

carlo Says:

Can’t believe it. Juan Monaco is a break up and appears to have the momentum. Wow.

Ferrer isn’t sick or injured, he’s just losing to Jaun Monaco. Monaco is showing some real grit to make it through. But Granollers will have a good chance, either way! lol

carlo Says:

Oh, that was sad for Ferrer.

Monaco is back. Well, he played well and maybe his back and other body parts are hurting.

Granollers has a good chance. Vamos !

Kimberly Says:

wow, roger was the only favorite that made it today!

Kimmi Says:

the crowd not too happy, only 2 people are cheering for monaco but he is the man today. he beats ferrer and now in the final for the first time this year.

but what happened to ferrer, he lost his touch in the final set the commentator said. there was a time he lost 5 straight games..hmmm, that is un-ferrer like.

jane Says:

I have seen similar happen to Ferrer before; in fact, during one match with Roddick this year, Ferrer’s serve basically deserted him altogether. He just kept hitting the net.

sar Says:

Is there an interview from Nole?

El Flaco Says:

If Fed can win then he will have won 5 tournaments 5 times


carlo Says:

Ferrer got annoyed. I wasn’t sure exactly at the time what it was about, as my commentators were speaking in an Eastern European language but I think Ferrer lost it after Monaco had a trainer come and stretch him / treat him for something. That was some gamesmanship maybe on Juan’s part in the decider. Before that, Ferrer had the momentum and was up a break; after, he lost his break and his serve deserted him – 5 df’s – it wasn’t pretty.

The way Ferrer played the 2nd set so fast, I don’t think Monaco could have lasted. He had to slow it down. It will be interesting to see how the crowd responds to Monaco tomorrow.

Kimberly Says:

Ferrer completely melted down mentally in the match I saw live in Miami with the famous ball launch at the crying baby. The match was competitive, he double faulted the set away and then went AWOL.

I dimissed it as a one-off but noticed the same thing a few times after.

jane Says:

Ferrer has always had that personality; he can get a little petulant, firey and/or frustrated at times, and it throws him off his usually steady game. But other times, his game – esp his serve – is prone to going off the boil. In other words, he’s not always completely consistent.

jane Says:

^ but then again, who is? Even the top 4 are prone to off days, weeks, meltdowns, etc. I have seen all of their games go off, and I’ve seen all of them – yes, even Fed and Rafa – have mental lapses or meltdowns with umps, etc. I guess they are just more consistently consistent than the rest, hence they’ve pretty much owed the top three or four spots for the last 4 years.

jane Says:

*owned not owed. :)

Dan Martin Says:

here is a funny look at tennis’ lack of crazy coaching speeches

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