Roger Federer bids for a 10th Swiss Indoors title when he heads to one of his home events.
The former world number one has won the tournament two years in a row and is both the top seed and the favourite for this year’s return to St. Jakobshalle in Basel.
Bet on the 2019 Swiss Indoors Basel at:
Federer will certainly be the man to beat this week but a strong field has been assembled behind him, with Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista Agut all in the draw.
Fellow Swiss star Stan Wawrinka will also be playing and he is scheduled to meet Federer in the quarter-finals, which would be a blockbuster clash between two men who know each other well.
Fabio Fognini, David Goffin and Benoit Paire are also taking part in this year’s Swiss Indoors championships as the race to book places for the ATP Finals in London continues.
Federer, offered at just 13/8 in the betting odds for the tournament, is the clear favourite. But can better value be found elsewhere? Let’s take a look and pick out some selections of note.
Former Ball Boy Out to Retain Crown
A young Federer was a ball boy at the Basel tournament in his youth and he is now undoubtedly the king of the event thanks to the nine titles he has collected here over the years.
The first of them came back in 2006 when he beat Fernando Gonzalez in the final and, quite remarkably, all of his wins at the tournament have come against nine different men.
It was Marius Copil who found Federer too strong at last year’s Swiss Indoors and this time out he will open his title defence after a first-round bye against either Radu Albot or Dusan Lajovic.
Neither of those players have ever beaten Federer, so his place in the quarter-finals looks to be assured barring a massive surprise result, or an injury to the 38-year-old.
In the last eight, Federer is likely to come up against his compatriot Wawrinka, the seventh seed who has shown fine form in Antwerp at the European Open in the last week.
Wawrinka is 12/1 in the betting for the Swiss Indoors, indicating the bookmakers are in no doubt which of the two home players would be expected to come out on top in that meeting.
Federer beat Wawrinka in the 2011 Basel semi-finals on his way to another title, winning that clash in straight sets, while he has only lost three of the 26 previous meetings between the pair. All 17 of the times they have faced off on a hard court, it has been Federer who has won.
Tsitsipas Finding Form Once Again
Potentially awaiting Federer in the semi-finals will be Tsitsipas, who has bounced back from a run of difficult results to show some excellent form in the build-up to this week’s event.
The Greek player got to the semi-finals in Shanghai having gone one step further in Beijing, so the Asian leg of the ATP tour has been good for Tsitsipas.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas is up first for Tsitsipas and he will likely then come up against Pablo Andujar for a place in the quarter-finals. At 8/1, he is a name to consider this week.
Also in the second quarter of the draw is Fognini, who has a place at the end of season ATP Finals in his sights. The Italian could come up against Filip Krajinovic, with the Serbian in good form in Stockholm over the course of the past week. Fognini is offered at as big as 33/1.
Third Quarter Looks Wide Open
While Federer and Tsitsipas are clear favourites to come through their respective quarters in the top half of the draw, the picture for the bottom section of the Swiss Indoors is a little murkier.
Goffin and Bautista Agut are the two seeds present in the third quarter, with the Belgian priced up at odds of 16/1 with the Spaniard a little bigger at around the 20/1 mark with some outlets.
Bautista Agut has struggled of late and has to face Copil, last year’s beaten finalist, in the first round. The Romanian, who has one of the biggest serves on the tour, will be a major threat.
Meanwhile Goffin, who lost to Federer in the 2014 final of this tournament, lost to to Ugo Humbert in the first round of the European Open and comes up against Marin Cilic first.
Cilic is another former champion in the draw, having triumphed in Basel back in 2016, but his form this year has been patchy although he recovered some confidence in Moscow last week. The experienced Croatian might just be the best value pick in this quarter at odds of 33/1.
Zverev in Need of Points in Race to London
Headlining the final quarter of the draw is Zverev – offered at 6/1 – who is the second favourite. The German beat Federer during his run to the Shanghai Masters final, but has not played since. American Taylor Fritz is Zverev’s opponent in the first round of the Swiss Indoors.
Consistency is still the main issue for Zverev, last year’s ATP Finals champion, who is yet to secure his place at the London tournament. Zhuhai champion Alex de Minaur is a potential early opponent for Zverev, who should still come through this quarter given the prize at stake here.
Swiss Indoors Best Bets
Federer is difficult to oppose this week given he has reached the final in his last 12 appearances in the Basel event, regardless of his low odds of 13/8 to win a 10th title at the Swiss Indoors.
Zverev’s improved run of form means he is backable at 6/1 in the bottom quarter of the draw, especially as he beat the veteran great in their last meeting at the Shanghai Masters.
Those looking for bigger odds to go at could do worse than try out Cilic, who seems to be on the up after a difficult 2019 and can be backed at around the 33/1 mark in the Basel betting odds. Goffin is a tricky opponent for the Croatian to face first up, however.
Copil is another name who should not be discounted given his run to the final a year ago. Repeating that success has proven tough for the Romanian, but his serve is a weapon.
Bautista Agut is a beatable first-round opponent for Copil, who could make a 100/1 price look generous. Copil knocked out Zverev in 2018, so a repeat in the semi-finals would not worry him.