Federer Headlines Basel, Ferrer in Valencia; ATP Previews
by Staff | October 25th, 2015, 4:02 pm

Basel, Switzerland; Surface: hard
Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Anderson, Richard Gasquet, John Isner, Marin Cilic, David Goffin

Floaters: Borna Coric, Jack Sock, Ernests Gulbis, Lukas Rosol, Ivo Karlovic

Notes: Three Top 10ers in the draw during this the last week of regular-season play…A delightful drawing of potential field-disrupters includes (3) Nadal vs. the upset specialist Rosol, (2) Wawrinka vs. the giant-serving Karlovic, (6) Isner vs. Gulbis who the American lost to last week in Vienna, and (4) Anderson vs. the riser Coric…Wildcards were awarded to Swiss players Marco Chiudinelli and Henri Laaksonen…Pulling from the event were Marcos Baghdatis, Julien Benneteau, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, and Gilles Simon…Last year Federer won his sixth career Swiss Indoors title, in the final rolling over Goffin 6-2, 6-2…Federer (2014,’11-10,’08-06) is the lone former champ in the field. “I remember I was always very nervous on court because I always wanted to do so well here,” said Federer, who lost to Andre Agassi in the first round in his first appearance in 1998.

Valencia, Spain; Surface: hard

Seeds: David Ferrer, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, Bernard “The Tank Engine” Tomic, Fabio Fognini, Benoit Paire, Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, Roberto Bautista Agut, Jeremy Chardy

Floaters: Nick “The Dick” Kyrgios, Gilles Muller, Nicolas Almagro, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Steve Johnson

Notes: One Top 10-er in the field…The Top 4 seeds receive opening-round byes…Challenging starts for (1) Ferrer after a bye vs. Nick the Dick, (7) Bautista Agut vs. Almagro, (6) G-Lo vs. Hot Sauce, and (2) Lopez after a bye vs. the Stockholm finalist Johnson…Wildcards went to Almagro, Marcel Granollers and Andrey Rublev…Pulling from the event were Sam Querrey and Tommy Robredo…Andy Murray beat Robredo in last year’s final in a third-set tiebreak…Returning former champs in the field are Ferrer (2012,’10,’08), Granollers (2011), Almagro (2007-06), and Verdasco (2004).

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47 Comments for Federer Headlines Basel, Ferrer in Valencia; ATP Previews

J-Kath Says:

Hey – I thought Nole was playing?

Wog Boy Says:

Nole doesn’t play Basel, he doesn’t like weather over there;)

BTW, not a bad result at RWC, I think there is a REMOTE chance Aussies can beat Kiwis;)


jane Says:

j-kath, i already mentioned that he’s not when you asked me last time.

J-Kath Says:

Jane – I seem to recall reading it somewhere and being a bit surprised. I must have totally misunderstood your answer, sorri.

jatin Says:

Excited to see Roger on court again. Rafa’s participation is always a bonus there. He made a really great progress since the US open. Played a good match against novak and nearly defeated Tsonga in shanghai semis. I hope to see him competing for the top again.
A wishful thinking- Roger vs Rafa finals in swiss indoors :)
Its been a while since we saw fedal. The level of play has drastically changed from both sides since they last meet. Atleast they are almost certain to meet at the WTF if the ranking remains as it as.
I would call it the group of death with Novak, rafa and roger playing in the same group. 1,3,5,7

Let the fun begins.

J-Kath Says:

Roger could be No.2 by then, so it could be Novak, Rafa and Andy (if the latter shows up?).

Armend Says:

Average age of the Top 10 is an unbelievable 30! It will be 31 by the end of the year!

jalep Says:

The age topic is a hot one. With time on my hands this today, decided to have a close look.

Average age is 29.1 for top 10; at the present, going by the ATP 52 week rolling rank page.

It’s fun to use the little arrow next to age and look at the top 100 from oldest, Karlovic and Burgos, to youngest. Only 4 players are 34 or older, it just happens to be that 2 of them are Federer and Feliciano Lopez — #3 and #16

Doubt Feli is headed for top 10, but you never know. Safe to say Burgos and Karlovic are not.

33 yr: an incredible 6 are in top 100. But only one of them, Ferrer #8, counts. Tommy Robredo is #42, the rest hang out in the 70’s -90’s ranks.

32 yr: 4 of them. None are in top 20 or are they likely going in that direction. Maybe Kohlschreiber #32. Muller #35.

31 yr: 6 of them. Worse rank and shape than 32 yr olds.

30 yr: an astonishing 11 in top 100. One of them Stan the Man #4. The other 2 in top 10 are Berdych #5 and Tsonga #10. 2 consequential names: Simon and Isner – top 20. The other 6 are solid journeymen.

29 yr: 10 of them. Rafa #7 is the only top 10. Gasquet, Anderson, & Monfils top 20. The rest are journeymen.

28 yr: 10 of ’em. Starring Novak and Andy. Fognini #21. 7 are hopefuls and journeymen.

27 yr: 9 top 100. Zero in top 10, but Cilic #13 could be there in 2016. Bautista-Agut #24. The rest are notable slackers. ** This group is missing Delpo!

26 yr: 7 top 100. Highest rank #21 Benoit Paire. Great hope for him. The rest: who knows.

25 yr: 9 top 100. Kei Nishikori #6. Next best Johnson at #33. Have hope in Vasek Pospisil #43. Won’t call the rest journeymen, they are too young. Some call them the lost generation.

24 yr: 6 top 100: Raonic #9. Goffin #17. Dimitrov #28. 3 others ranked in 60’s and 70’s.

Have to agree 24 – 26 looks thin on top 10 prospects at the moment.

23 yr: 9 top 100. Zero top 10. Tomic #18 – go Bernie! Sock # 28. 8 are ranked 60-99. Too soon to tell.

22 yr: Only 2 in top 100! Thiem #19 and Vesely #38.

21 yr: Lucas Pouille #68

20 yr: Nick the Kid #30. Go Nick!

19 yr: Hyeong Chung #51 and Thanasi Kokkinakis #76.

18 yr: Coric #47. A. Zverev #84.

Makes a nice fluctuating bell curve.

jalep Says:

What luck. EG has to play Isner again.

Gulbis on a 3 match hot streak since Vienna.

jalep Says:

^^Meant to say, won 3 matches in a row in Vienna.

Not sure EG can hold serve. DF.
Isner bp.

jalep Says:

Poor Ernie. To think he made it to top ten once upon a time.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Hi Jalep true, EG has alot of talent but didnt quite live up to his potential,am i suffering from deja-vu but didnt these two play each other last week?….

Ben Pronin Says:

Yes they did and Gulbis won in 2 tiebreakers.

jalep Says:

Your memory is right, GG. Deja-vu Isner v Gulbis in Vienna.

Aren’t you impressed with my post @ 2:10 pm???

Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep lol,good grief,you really do research your statistics very well,that is indeed very impressive….

jalep Says:

Arrgh…EG. I know you don’t like him GG ;)

Isner likely to meet Anderson. That’s about right.

jalep Says:

The research wasn’t planned, GG. Read Armends post and thought I wonder…

Nothin’ else to do today,lol…no life.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep i prefer Isner as a person,but EG as a tennis player,as he has a style thats more pleasing to the eye,so i pulled for him to win this match,just this once,shhh dont tell anyone though ;)….

jalep Says:

Aw, that’s sweet, GG. EG’s tennis is even more pleasing to the eye when he wins and hope he’ll do more of it in 2016 ;)

Was surprised there weren’t more younger guns when going through the top 100. Think it’s simply too hard and takes more time than it used to to develop the right fitness, skills, confidence and be ready to compete at the top. Coric is doing a good job. There are a few, like Dimitrov, that are frustrating. I can’t hold a grudge against Kyrigos, after looking at the possibilities, tennis needs him!

RZ Says:

@Jalep – good research and good commentary.

RZ Says:

BTW, I looked up the average age of the top 10 in the Race and that skews slightly older – 29.6 rather than 29.1. Probably because Raonic drops out of the top 10 there and gets replaced by Gasquet.

jalep Says:

Hi RZ, Thanks! :D
Was trying to get my mind off both Aga and Simona losing to Maria. Maria and Garbine looking very strong. Aga still in, barely.

Okay, yeah – swapping Gasquet for Raonic brings the age up. Was thinking about going by Race Rank for age but went with 52 week rolling. Didn’t mean to go all the way through but what the heck…

Also was curious if what Armend said about the 31’s next year was right — and it probably is.

You could fit the groups into 18-22 (8), 23-26 (31), 27-30 (40), 31-34+ (20) … We have the largest group (40), the most, right where it’s expected at prime, pushing the prime envelope out and maybe shifting to age 31 in 2016?

Or, does the 18-22 group grow? That’s the group I’m looking at. Also the Ferrer’s and Federer’s on the other end.

Oops. Math comes to 99! Find the missing one,lol…

Wog Boy Says:

jalep @5:09pm

It could be that, but it could be also expectations of too much too quick, lack of hard work, determination and sacrifice in order to achieve and to reach top, and when those expectations were not met being satisfied with making good many by being top 10/20/30.
Look at Roger, Rafa, Andy and Nole when they were breaking through, nothing but hard work, determination and personal sacrifice it was “strive to achive” mission and we can say, for all four, mission accomplished”.

Those new metrosexual generetaions can be bought and satisfied with cheap and shallow pleasures, sadly.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ “good money” not “good many”

jalep Says:

+1 in 28 age group = 11
(41)in the largest group 28-31 in 2016. Armend has is right for 2016 top 10 average age probably close to between 30-31, (assuming Federer and Ferrer stay in), they raise the average at age 35 & 34.

Top 10 – 2016
1 Novak 29
2 Andy 29
3 Stan 31
4 Rafa 30
5 Rog 35
6 Daveed34
7 Tomas 31
8 Marin 28
9 Jo 31
10 KN 26
av. age 30.4 (my list)

jalep Says:

Hi Wog Boy, good points. Roger, Rafa, Nole, Andy compared to what we see of the others – – no on can really match them. Maybe add Ferrer to that list for durability and never say die attitude.

Then we have Stan – don’t know how to describe him.

Tomas, Jo.
Marin, Kei, Milos, Gasquet…maybe Isner.

But then we get into what you are talking about, Wog Boy: the muddy waters of the unknown by adding Grigor, Tomic, Nick, Sock ect…

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Jalep, these are really interesting stats. What jumps out (I think, at a quick glance, could be wrong!) is that Rog and Ferrer are outliers. Other than that, it looks like 30 is IT. But then, given the gap at 24-26, there is opportunity (above or below).

My question is, which of the 30-31 year olds can buck the trend as Roger and Ferrer have? It is really starting to look like Rafa will, at least as far as top ten, and that, I think, is shocking to everyone.

peter Says:

the average age is getting older as tennis becomes more professional. older players now have a huge advantage over younger ones, since they have a lot more experience and mental strength. Also, they make a lot more money these days compared to 20 years ago, so they can afford to have the best team, equipment, physio, etc. the money they make gives them a distinct competitive advantage over younger, less fortunate players. with advances in technology they can remain fit and healthy over a longer period of time, the older guys will stay much longer than they used to be.

the average age of top 10 will hit 30 then 31 before it goes back down. 2 years later, ferrer and federer will probably retire, while younger guys will come through. the average age of top 10 in the long term may well hover around 30.

jalep Says:

Thanks, Tennis Vagabond. Glad you liked it. Yes, Rog and Ferrer do look like superstar outliers at this point. All the arguing I’ve been doing with CF1 and elina the past few months, I think was the motivation to look closely at age and the reputation of aging players over time in the ATP.

There could still be a surprise, maybe not as big as the Stan surprise but I wouldn’t exclude the possibility – it’s too exciting and shocking ;)

And who might it be? Someone with the resources, for sure; and with the talent and motivation. Feliciano gave the impression in 2012 and again this past year of having an ‘it’ factor. Robredo has the resources but maybe not the essential physicality left in the tank that he had in his real prime to get enough for more informed peak performances in his advanced age.

There are other interesting ones in the 28-33 age range now with perhaps what it takes to buck trends and old norms.

Yes, Rafa. Back in 2009, I thought he wouldn’t last. Time will prove this theory wrong, is what I was saying by 2011, and definitely confirmed in 2013. Then he comes up with a 2015 that brings doubt. Something was up, but it could be resolved by now – certainly he’s motivated. He’s looking good for 2016. One season at a time with Rafa. And yeah, top ten for several more years after 2016, maybe.

jane Says:

i do sometimes wonder about the character of different generations. definitely technology, money, fitness, all those things play a role in the longevity of the current top tenners. but the newer generations grew up more “entitled” more self-assured due to the support, or even coddling, of those around them. it may’ve affected their effort level, or their compete level? i don’t know. i could be wrong about that too.

Emily Says:

Listened to a podcast with an interview with Safin, and it was interesting what he had to say about the various generations, and how he feels about his own career. Seems very mellow and reflective, though some people might disagree with his opinions

Ben Pronin Says:


elina Says:

Nadal’s recent decline was mental, not physical.

He physically recovered from hie injuries and appendicitis.

But he is still mentally recovering.

Hitting the ball short and playing in his comfort zone (too far behind the baseline), is a mental problem. No confidence. Like Roger in 2013 except for him the symptom was excessive unforced errors.

elina Says:

Just google Marat Safin podcast.

Google is an amaaaazing resource.

Ben Pronin Says:

Roger in 2013 had physical problems.

Ben Pronin Says:

Bollettieri wouldn’t take Safin. Not even sure how to process that.

Ben Pronin Says:

Injuries did him in :'(

Ben Pronin Says:

It’s easier to win slams now because everyone outside the top 5 guys basically sucks. Man I love it.

jalep Says:

What a great podcast Ben and Emily. Thanks.

Pretty sure after hearing Marat talk that the reason I immediately liked Gulbis is because EG’s voice, inflections, and accent is similar. I remember jumping up and down laughing like an idiot when Safin beat Sampras. It seemed so unlikely, couldn’t believe it.

No, not everyone here would like to hear his perspective, but it does speak about perceptions, reputations, the traps of judging performances of player fields across eras in retrospect. Assigning degree of difficulty is nonsense because it’s pure speculation, which is interesting, but good luck turning that water into wine for truth.

Wog Boy Says:

..and I use to love Safin:(

jane Says:

what does he say… will listen later but i am totally curious.

peter Says:

Safin:” Back then, there were so many more quality players that you needed to beat to win a Slam. Goran, Krajicek, Agassi, Sampras, Norman, Kuerten, Kafelnikov. It was much more difficult. Now, there are not so many. The rest are a long way from the top five. Those five are basically deciding the world of tennis.”

No objection here, he’s sticking up for himself. It was tough competition as he struggled to beat them consistently.

jane Says:

so when he’s talking “back then” he means before sampras retired i presume? at least based on that list … i still haven’t managed to listen to it, but i will eventually get around to it.

Margot Says:

Talking of the younger players:

A “turbulent” year for Nick indeedy and now ending on an injury. Bags of talent but huge question mark.

elina Says:

Exactly Peter and Jane. Safin refers to the period prior to 2002, when more than five guys controlled the game (as opposed to just one).

jalep Says:

He didn’t say that, elina. Marat didn’t name the dates prior to bla bla or ending bla, bla. His perspective from playing the game is that it was harder when he played and he says that he’s never seen anyone better than Federer. That has to make a few anti-feds thin skin crawl.

Safin is not speaking in line with your preferred narrative, so just deny, twist words, fill in the dates and meld it into what you’d have liked him to say, I see.

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