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Basel Wednesday Preview

  • dst
  • 04 November 2009
  • 11:11

Roger Federer continues his quest for a fourth straight title at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors on Wednesday in a second round encounter with Italian Andreas Seppi. The World No. 1 captured the title in Basel each of the past three years and improved to 30-6 here with a 63 64 win over Olivier Rochus on Monday. Federer is one of six seeds in Wednesday’s action.  Starting the order of play is top Croat Marin Cilic, the No. 4 seed and a wild card entry, taking on Germany’s Philipp Petzschner, followed by American No. 7 seed James Blake facing Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. Swiss No. 2 Stanislas Wawrinka, the No. 6 seed, takes on Croat Ivan Ljubicic, while No. 3 seed and 2005 champion Fernando Gonzalez of Chile and hard-serving American John Isner close out the evening Centre Court session in a first round match. Court Two play features Argentine Horacio Zeballos against France’s Richard Gasquet.   The only other second round contest matches No. 5 seed Czech Radek Stepanek and French lucky loser Florent Serra.

WEDNESDAY HEAD-TO-HEADS – In Order of Play

Centre Court

Philipp Petzschner (GER) vs (4-WC) Marin Cilic (CRO) Cilic Leads 1-0
08 Munich (Germany) Clay R16 Marin Cilic 6-4 7-6(7)

Petzschner FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
QF: Metz (l Gasquet)
YTD W-L: 15-23
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: March 24, 1984
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 76

• Petzschner, 25, who lost in the first round in Basel last year in his debut, has compiled a 15-23 match record on the season (9-14 on hard) with his best result one month ago in Metz where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Gasquet)
• He is looking to snap a three-match first round losing streak after losses in Bangkok (l. to Safin), Tokyo (l. to Gasquet) and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai (l. to F. Mayer)…Last week he wasn’t able to defend his title in Vienna, pulling out with a left calf injury
• His best win of the season came over No. 8 Fernando Verdasco in the first round of Halle in June
• In Grand Slam play, he reached the second round at Roland Garros (l. to Verdasco), a personal-best third round at Wimbledon (l. to Hewitt) and second round at the US Open (l. to Ferrero)

Cilic FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Chennai (d Devvarman); Zagreb (d Ancic); F: Beijing (l Djokovic); Vienna (l Melzer); QF: Dubai (l Djokovic); Munich (l Chardy); US Open (l Del Potro)
YTD W-L: 44-19
YTD Titles: 2
Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: September 28, 1988
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 13

• Cilic, 21, a wild card entry, who is making his debut in Basel, advanced to his fourth ATP World Tour final of the year last Sunday in Vienna where he lost to top Austrian Jurgen Melzer in straight sets – his second final in a month
• The young Croat is putting together the best season of his career with a 44-19 match record (31-11 on hard) and two ATP World Tour titles in four finals…He also has surpassed $1 million this season
• On Oct. 11 he reached his third ATP World Tour final of the season in Beijing where he lost to then No. 4-ranked Novak Djokovic…He is 3-2 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals
• He reached a career-high No. 13 on May 18 and was there for seven straight weeks before returning to that spot on Oct. 12 after Beijing
• The top Croat on the ATP World Tour opened the campaign by earning the title in Chennai (d. Devvarman) in January and the following month he won the title in his hometown of Zagreb (d. Ancic)
• In September, he advanced to his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the US Open where he beat No. 2-ranked Andy Murray in the fourth round in straight sets (l. to eventual champ del Potro)

Jeremy Chardy (FRA) vs (7) James Blake (USA)  First Meeting

Chardy FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Stuttgart (d Hanescu); F: Johannesburg (l Tsonga); SF: Delray Beach (l Fish); Munich (l Berdych); QF: Sydney (l Gasquet); s-Hertogenbosch (l Schuettler); Gstaad (l Andreev)
YTD W-L: 34-26
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: February 12, 1987
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 31

• Chardy, 22, is making his tournament debut after exiting in the second round last week in St. Petersburg (l. Gulbis)
• He enters with a 34-26 match record on the season, including 16-15 on hard courts
• In July, he rallied past top Romanian Victor Hanescu to win in three sets in Stuttgart to earn his first ATP World Tour title and become the first Frenchman to win in Stuttgart since Henri Leconte in 1984
• In February, he was runner-up in Johannesburg (d. Ferrer in SF; l. to countryman Tsonga)
• In May, he advanced to the semi-finals in Munich, losing to eventual champion Tomas Berdych
• After reaching his first final in February, followed with semi-final at Delray Beach (l. to Fish)
• His best ATP World Tour Masters 1000 result was the third round at Indian Wells (d. Fish in 2nd Rd., l. to Ferrer) in March and Cincinnati (l. to Djokovic) in August

Blake FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
F: Estoril (l Montanes); London / Queen's Club (l Murray); SF: San Jose (l Fish)
YTD W-L: 23-19
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 10
Date of Birth: December 28, 1979
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 41

• Blake, 29, is making his fifth tournament appearance (4-4 record) and comes in with a 23-19 match record this year, 13-10 on hard courts…His best result in Basel came last year as he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Lopez)
• In October, fell in consecutive weeks at Beijing and Shanghai in second round – both times to World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in three sets
• Prior to that, he lost in the third round at U.S. Open to Tommy Robredo on Sept. 5
• This is his third tournament with coach Kelly Jones, a former ATP World Tour pro…He parted ways with long-time coach Brian Barker (since age 12) after the US Open
• The No. 4 American (behind No. 6 Roddick, No. 24 Querrey, No. 40 Isner) is ranked out of Top 40 for first time since Aug. 29, 2005 when he was No. 49
• He has reached two ATP World Tour finals this season, on clay in Estoril in May (l. to Montanes), and on grass at Queen’s in London in June (l. to Murray)
• He also played in the Davis Cup quarter-finals vs. Croatia and lost both rubbers to Ivo Karlovic (in five sets) and Marin Cilic (in four sets)…He injured his toe during the tie, which limited his activity during  the summer
• He began the season with a fourth round showing at the Australian Open (l. to No. 7 Tsonga) and in February advanced to the semi-finals in San Jose (l. to Fish) and followed with a first round exit in Memphis (l. to Hewitt)
• In March, helped the U.S. to a 4-1 first round Davis Cup win over Switzerland in Birmingham, Alabama...He lost to No. 16 ranked Stanislas Wawrinka in the opening rubber before closing out the tie with a straight sets dead rubber win over Marco Chiudinelli…Followed with back-to-back third round showings in Indian Wells (l. to Gonzalez) and Miami (l. to Berdych)
• The owner of 10 titles on ATP World Tour, he peaked on South African Airways ATP Rankings at No. 4 on Nov. 20, 2006

(6) Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) vs Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) Ljubicic Leads 3-1
05 Doha (Qatar) Hard R32 Ivan Ljubicic 6-3 6-4
06 Vienna (Austria) Hard QF Ivan Ljubicic 6-3 6-2
07 Roland Garros (France) Clay R64 Ivan Ljubicic 6-4 6-3 6-7(3)  6-3
08 Doha (Qatar) Hard SF Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6(1)6-4

Wawrinka FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
SF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Djokovic); QF: Tokyo (l Monfils)
YTD W-L: 29-18
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: March 28, 1985
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 21
• Wawrinka, 24, is making his seventh straight appearance in Basel (4-6 record) and his best result was the semi-finals in 2006 (l. to Gonzalez)
• He reached the third round last month in Shanghai, defeating No. 6 Andy Roddick, who retired with a knee injury for his second Top 10 win of the year before falling in next round to Radek Stepanek…His other Top 10 win came over countryman Roger Federer, ranked No. 2 at the time in third round, to reach the semi-finals in April at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l. to Djokovic)
• Since an opening round loss at the US Open (l. to Lapentti), played in a Davis Cup World Group tie against Italy and beat Andreas Seppi in straight sets in the opening rubber to help Switzerland back into the 2010 World Group (vs. Spain)
• Followed up in ATP World Tour play by reaching quarter-finals in Tokyo (l. to Monfils)
• He enters with a 29-18 match record on the season (13-10 on hard courts)

Ljubicic FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Lyon (d Llodra); QF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Murray); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Djokovic); Eastbourne (l Santoro); Umag (l Melzer); Beijing (l Soderling); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 31-21
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 9
Date of Birth: March 19, 1979
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 25

• Ljubicic, 30, is competing in the Davidoff Swiss Indoors for the fourth time in his career (5-3 mark)… He defeated hometown hero Roger Federer in 2003 on his way to the semi-finals (l. to Coria)…Has not played here since 2005 when he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Koubek)
• He captured his ninth career ATP World Tour title (six of those indoors) last week by defeating Frenchman Michael Llodra in Lyon…He is 9-12 in ATP World Tour finals and it was his first title since ‘s-Hertogenbosch in June 2007 (d. Wessels)
• Last week’s triumph allowed the Croat to become the third player over the age of 30 to win an ATP World Tour title this season, joining Radek Stepanek (30), who won in Brisbane and San Jose, and Tommy Haas (31), a winner in Halle
• He enters with a 31-21 match record, including 18-13 on hard courts
• Prior to the final at Lyon, had reached seven ATP World Tour quarter-finals, most recently in October at ATP Shanghai Masters 1000 (l. to Nadal) along with Indian Wells (l. to Murray), Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal), Madrid (l. to Djokovic), Eastbourne (ret. vs. Santoro), Umag (l. to Melzer) and Beijing (l. to Soderling)
• He began the season at No. 58 and dipped as low as No. 76 for week of March 2 but has improved to No. 25 this week…Has spent 84 career weeks inside Top 10, all consecutive, between October 31, 2005 and June 10, 2007 (peaked at No. 3 for 11 non-consecutive weeks)

(1) Roger Federer (SUI) vs Andreas Seppi (ITA) Federer Leads 5-0
07 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo  Clay R32 Roger Federer 7-6(4) 7-6(6)
08 ATP Masters Series Hamburg  Clay SF Roger Federer 6-3  6-1
09 Doha (Qatar) Hard R16 Roger Federer 6-3  6-3
09 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R128 Roger Federer 6-1  7-6(4)  7-5
09 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay R32 Roger Federer 6-4   6-4

Federer FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (d Nadal); Roland Garros (d Soderling); Wimbledon (d Roddick); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (d Djokovic); F: Australian Open (l Nadal); US Open (l Del Potro); SF: Doha (l Murray); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Murray); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Djokovic); QF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada (l Tsonga)
YTD W-L: 56-8
YTD Titles: 4
Career Titles: 61
Date of Birth: August 8, 1981
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 1

• Federer, 28, the three-time defending champion in Basel, improved to a 30-6 career record in his hometown tournament as he eased past Belgian qualifier Olivier Rochus 63 64 in his opening match Monday – his first tournament test since reaching his sixth straight final at the U.S. Open (l. del Potro in five sets) on Sept. 14
• The No. 1 player on the ATP World Tour improved to a 56-8 match record on the season, including 31-6 on hard courts…He has won 35 of his past 37 matches…He is 4-2 in finals
• Since losing to Ivan Ljubicic in the second round in 2003, returned in 2006 and has won 16 straight matches in Basel with titles in 2006 (d. Gonzalez), 2007 (d. Nieminen), and 2008 (d. Nalbandian)
• This year, from mid-May to July, he won three straight titles at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (d. Nadal), Roland Garros (d. Soderling) and Wimbledon (d. Roddick), setting the Grand Slam record with 15 titles…Then in August he captured his third title at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (d. Djokovic)…Has won at least one title for nine straight years (since 2001)
• This is his 255th week at No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings (since 1973), which is fourth all-time behind Pete Sampras (286), Ivan Lendl (270) and Jimmy Connors (268)
• The Swiss superstar became the sixth man in history to complete a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros in his 11th attempt by defeating Swede Robin Soderling in straight sets in the final…Lost six sets en route to the title, the most of any Grand Slam title run and was pushed to five sets by Tommy Haas in the fourth and Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals                                                           
• Four weeks later he won a record-breaking 15th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, where he collected his sixth crown at the All England Club...Only dropped one set (against Kohlschreiber) en route to a record seventh straight Wimbledon final, where he defeated Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set, breaking the American for the first time in the final game of the match after he held 37 straight service games…Fired a personal-best 50 aces in the epic battle…By clinching his 60th tour-level title – the most among active players, he reclaimed No. 1 ranking on July 6 after Nadal held the top spot for 46 weeks earlier
• He opened the first month with a SF in Doha (l. to Murray) and followed with runner-up at the Australian Open, falling to rival Nadal in five sets...It was his first loss in a Grand Slam hard court final (8-1)...He then withdrew from Dubai and first round Davis Cup tie vs. the U.S. with a back injury…Returned from a six-week layoff due and advanced to the SF in Indian Wells, defeating No. 17 Fernando Gonzalez and No. 10 Fernando Verdasco before losing to No. 4 Andy Murray for the fourth straight time

2009 ATP World Tour Title Leaders –
                              No.
Rafael Nadal           5
Andy Murray            5
Roger Federer        4
Nikolay Davydenko  4

Seppi FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
SF: Belgrade (l Djokovic); Umag (l Ferrero)
YTD W-L: 23-29
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: February 21, 1984
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 51

• Seppi, 25, the top Italian in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings at No. 51, is playing in Basel for the second time in his career, previously losing in the first round in 2005 (l. to Gonzalez)…He opened Monday with a 46 61 75 win over Swiss wild card Stephane Bohli
• He enters the with a 23-29 match record on the season (9-14 on hard)
• His best results have come on clay with a semi-final showing at Belgrade in May, losing to No. 4 Djokovic in three sets and also in Umag (l. to Ferrero) in August
• At Wimbledon, he defeated American James Blake and Frenchman Marc Gicquel before falling in the third round (l. Andreev)
• He won the title at the San Marino Challenger (d. Starace) in August
• He reached a career-high on South African Airways ATP Rankings of No. 29 in July 2008
• Has reached one ATP World Tour final in his career, finishing runner-up to Frenchman Paul Henri Mathieu in Gstaad in 2007

(3) Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) vs John Isner (USA)    First Meeting

Gonzalez FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Viña del Mar (d Acasuso); SF: Barcelona (l Ferrer); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Nadal); Roland Garros (l Soderling); Washington (l Del Potro); Kuala Lumpur (l Verdasco); QF: US Open (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 38-14
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 11
Date of Birth: July 29, 1980
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 11

• Gonzalez, 29, enters Basel with a 15-4 career mark, winning the title in 2005 (d. Baghdatis) and reaching the final in 2002 (l. to Nalbandian) and 2006 (l. to Federer)
• He is battling for one of the remaining two positions in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, which begins Nov. 22
• The top Chilean on the ATP World Tour enters with a 38-14 match record on the season (20-10 on hard), including a run to the quarter-finals at this year’s U.S. Open where he fell to No. 2 Rafael Nadal after defeating No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
• Also reached semi-finals in first week of October at Kuala Lumpur (l. Verdasco) and reached third round the two weeks later in Shanghai (l. to eventual champion Davydenko)
• He won his 11th career ATP World Tour title in his hometown of Vina del Mar in February (d. Acasuso) and also advanced to the semi-finals in Barcelona (l. to Ferrer), ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l. to Nadal), Roland Garros (l. to Soderling) and Washington (l. to del Potro)
• Following his career-best semi-final showing at Roland Garros, broke into the Top 10 afterwards (from 12 to 10) on June 8 and was there for seven straight weeks before slipping to No. 11 on July 27…Two weeks later on Aug. 10, returned to Top 10 for one week

Isner FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
SF: Indianapolis (l Ginepri); Washington (l Roddick); QF: Auckland (l Soderling); Houston (l Odesnik); Los Angeles (l Ball); Bangkok (l Troicki)
YTD W-L: 25-16
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: April 26, 1985
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 40

• Isner, 24, who is making his debut in Basel, is trying to break a three-match first round losing streak…Last week in Vienna he lost to Janko Tipsarevic
• He is one of the most improved players on the ATP World Tour this season, jumping from No. 145 at the end of last year to No. 40 coming into this week
• He reached a career-high No. 39 on Sept. 14 after advancing to a Grand Slam-best fourth round at the US Open (fired 38 aces and beat No. 5 Roddick in fifth set TB, l. to Verdasco in four sets)
• He has reached six ATP World Tour quarter-finals or better and a 25-16 match record on the season, including 23-15 on hard courts…Also has a sparkling 25-10 mark in tie-breaks
• He was sidelined for seven weeks from early May to late June with a bout of mononucleosis
• In his return to the ATP World Tour in late July, he advanced to the semi-finals in Indianapolis (l. to Ginepri) and followed with the quarter-finals in Los Angeles (l. to Ball) and semi-finals in Washington (d. No. 7 Tsonga in 2nd Rd., l. to Roddick in three sets)
• In April, he reached the quarters in Houston (l. to Odesnik) on clay and two weeks later won the Tallahassee Challenger title (d. Young) on hard courts
• Trains at Saddlebrook and resides in Tampa, Fla.
• He also qualified and reached quarter-finals in Auckland (l. to Soderling) to start the year
• He defeated Christophe Rochus, Gael Monfils and Marat Safin in Indian Wells before losing to Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round
• Coached by Craig Boynton since March 2009 and says of his pupil, “He’s worked hard and he put in a lot of hard work before he was ill. He’s been able to pick up where he left off rather quickly.”

Court 2

Horacio Zeballos (ARG) vs Richard Gasquet (FRA)    First Meeting

(5) Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs (LL) Florent Serra (FRA)  Stepanek Leads 3-0
05 Roland Garros (France) Clay R64 Radek Stepanek 6-3   6-4 6-1
08 Memphis (U.S.A.) Hard R16 Radek Stepanek 7-6(6) 2-6 7-5
09 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Clay R64 Radek Stepanek 7-6(1) 4-6 7-5

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