Federer Eyes Perfect 10 (And Pizza Party) In Basel; When Is The Draw & More

Roger Federer returns to his hometown tournament in pursuit of a 10th Swiss Indoors Basel title. The 38-year-old Swiss, who was a Basel ball boy as a child, has won 20 straight matches at this ATP 500 tournament and reached the final the past 12 times he's played the event. 

"To come through and win again here in my hometown, never knowing if this might be your last time that you had the opportunity to play a final, maybe win for the last time here in my city, it obviously means a lot to me and it becomes very emotional," Federer said following his triumph last year.

Federer will be joined in Basel by fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka, World No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas and a number of Nitto ATP Finals contenders, including Alexander Zverev, Roberto Bautista Agut and Fabio Fognini. Tsitsipas claimed the sixth spot in the elite eight-man field at The O2, leaving just two spots up for grabs with two weeks left in the regular season.

Here's all you need to know about the Basel tennis tournament: what is the schedule, where to watch, who has won and more. 

Established: 1970

Tournament Dates: 21-27 October 2019

Tournament Director: Roger Brennwald

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 19 October, at 4:00pm, at the Town Hall in Basel

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Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Saturday & Sunday at 12:00pm
* Main draw: Monday - Friday at 1:00pm and 7:00pm, Saturday at 12:00pm
* Doubles final: Sunday, 27 October at 12:00pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 27 October not before 3:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV 
TV Schedule

Venue: St. Jakobshalle Basel
Main Court Seating: 9,000
Surface: Indoor Hard

Prize Money: € 2,082,655 (Total Financial Commitment: € 2,219,975)  

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Roger Federer (9)
Most Titles, Doubles: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Daniel Nestor, Tomas Smid, Nenad Zimonjic (4)
Oldest Champion (since 1972): Roger Federer

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/basel-tennis-atp-500-history-draw-schedules-tickets

Kontinen/Roger-Vasselin Save Match Points To Reach Stockholm Doubles Final

Henri Kontinen/Edouard Roger-Vasselin continued their outstanding run on Friday at the Intrum Stockholm Open, saving three match points in a thrilling 6-3, 3-6, 16-14 semi-final victory over fourth seeds Wesley Koolhof/Fabrice Martin.

The Finnish-French pairing fought back from 8/9, 10/11 and 12/13 in the Match Tie-break to move closer to their first ATP Tour doubles crown as a team. Kontinen seeks his second ATP Tour doubles title of the year and Roger-Vasselin looks for his fourth.

Kontinen/Roger-Vasselin await the winner of top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau and third seeds Mate Pavic/Bruno Soares. Rojer/Tecau prevailed over Andre Goransson/Nathaniel Lammons 7-6(5) 6-2. Pavic/Soares, last week’s champions at the Rolex Shanghai Masters (d. Kubot/Melo), cruised through Radu Albot/Robert Lindstedt 6-3, 6-3.

At the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Simone Bolelli/Andres Molteni upset third seeds Marcus Daniell/Philipp Oswald 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final. They’ll face fourth seeds Marcelo Demoliner/Matwe Middelkoop or Thomas Fabbiano/Andreas Seppi in Saturday’s championship match.

European Open top seeds Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies encountered few problems in their 6-4, 6-3 quarter-final win over Sander Arends/David Pel in Antwerp. The German pair are aiming for their first title since prevailing at Roland Garros (d. Chardy/Martin) as they look to qualify for a debut appearance at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/stockholm-antwerp-moscow-2019-friday-doubles

Jannik Sinner: From Focussing On Skiing To #NextGenATP Sensation

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on 25 August.

There currently is no player 18 or younger inside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings. But the youngest player in the Top 300, 18-year-old #NextGenATP Italian sensation Jannik Sinner, who qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw at the US Open on Friday, is on the way, and quickly.

What’s incredible is that less than five years ago, tennis was not the Italian’s focus; it was skiing. Up until that point, Sinner had played just two days per week. When he was seven, he did not touch a racquet for a year, instead playing football along with his skiing.

“When I went on court just two times in a week, I really enjoyed it. I just tried to enjoy and it was fun. It was just fun,” Sinner said. “But now it’s a little bit more than fun. Now it’s fun, but you want to go a little bit further and I think that makes this very important.”

At the age of 13, Sinner moved to the academy of renowned coach Riccardo Piatti, who has worked with Ivan Ljubicic, Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasquet among others. Currently, his star pupil is Borna Coric, whom Sinner has accompanied when he was not playing in recent weeks. At the time, Sinner was still skiing, but once Piatti showed interest in him, tennis became the priority.

“I always watched Roger and Rafa and Novak and the big stars. I remember when I came to Riccardo and he saw me, in that moment I felt like, ‘Okay, he’s seeing a very good player.’ I think that helped me to focus more [on] tennis,” Sinner said. “One time I didn’t want to go skiing and that was then the only sport I was focussing about: tennis.”

Sinner did not play many of the big ITF Junior events you may expect of a budding star. He did not compete at any of the Grand Slams, reaching a career-high No. 133 as a junior. He has already surpassed that in the ATP Rankings, climbing to No. 130 on 12 August, when he was still 17.

Sinner elected to compete at Futures events and slowly move his way up to the ATP Challenger Tour rather than dominating the juniors.

“I think one reason [I focused on the pros] is because I’m here now at 18 years and I can play in the main draw of the US Open. I always was searching for the players who played better than me,” Sinner said. “I was trying to play a higher level than I was.”

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/jannik-sinner-us-open-2019-feature

Sinner In The Semis: #NextGenATP Italian Makes Breakthrough In Antwerp

Eighteen-year-old #NextGenATP star Jannik Sinner’s stock continues to rise.

The Italian teen reached his first ATP Tour semi-final on Friday, defeating fellow #NextGenATP player Frances Tiafoe of the United States 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to make the last four of the European Open in Antwerp. Sinner is the youngest tour-level semi-finalist since 17-year-old Borna Coric accomplished the feat in Basel five years ago.

“I just can say thanks for the wild card!” Sinner said on court after his one-hour, 42-minute triumph. “I think I played good today once more. It was not easy in the end. I was shaking a little bit. On the important points, I was serving quite good, and I’m happy to be in the semi-finals.”

Sinner is proving mature beyond his years, showing a steady composure throughout his run in Antwerp as a wild card. At a career-high No. 119 in the ATP Rankings, Sinner broke Tiafoe for 4-2 in the deciding set with a lasered forehand passing shot that forced a backhand volley error.

But the pressure mounted as he served for victory at 5-3, with a miss on a sitting volley on top of the net giving Tiafoe two break points. Sinner responded well, saving both of those chances with his serve, forcing errors off the American’s racquet. After eliciting a backhand into the net at deuce, Sinner finished off his win with another big serve.

“I tried to start well in the third set, and I think I served a little bit better in the third set. I think that was the key," Sinner said. "Of course at the end I was shaking a little bit. I tried to reset after the easy volley in the last game and I served a very good first serve and second serve, so I’m very happy now that I’ve reached the semi-finals."

Sinner struck 10 aces in the match and saved four of the five break points he faced to back up his second-round win over top seed Gael Monfils, which was his first Top 50 victory. The teen was already the youngest quarter-finalist in this event’s history and the youngest player to reach the last eight on the ATP Tour since 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime did it last year in Chengdu.

"I played against a tough player, of course. I tried to play my tennis. In the first set, it worked. In the second set, he was a little bit more aggressive, so I felt a little bit under pressure," Sinner said. "I tried to play quite long, quite deep the ball. It worked very good today."

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/sinner-tiafoe-antwerp-2019-friday

Shapovalov Rolls Past Stebe Into Stockholm Semi-finals

Denis Shapovalov breezed into his fourth ATP Tour semi-final of the year on Friday at the Intrum Stockholm Open. The fourth-seeded Canadian overcame German qualifier Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-0, 6-3 in just 49 minutes.

Shapovalov barely put a foot wrong in the first set, which lasted 18 minutes and finished with a forehand winner. He won 21 of 22 first-service points in the set. Stebe struck a double fault to hand his opponent a 3-2 advantage in the second set, and Shapovalov clinched his 29th match win of 2019 with a smash winner.

On Thursday, Shapovalov qualified for next month's Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. He has reached tour-level semi-finals this year at the Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Federer), the Winston-Salem Open (l. to Hurkacz) and at the Chengdu Open (l. to Carreno Busta).

Shapovalov will next challenge former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic, who is contesting his final ATP Tour event of his career, or Japanese lucky loser Yuichi Sugita.

Carreno Busta

Pablo Carreno Busta continued his fine late-season run of form earlier on Friday. The fifth-seeded Spaniard battled back to beat American Sam Querrey, who struck 16 aces, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 38 minutes. Three weeks ago, former World No. 10 Carreno Busta lifted his fourth ATP Tour title at the Chengdu Open (d. Bublik).

The 28-year-old will next play Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic for the first time at tour-level. The pair previously split two ATP Challenger Tour matches at 2013 Poznan and 2015 Braunschweig.

Krajinovic booked a place in the semi-finals by beating Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 6-3, 6-4 in 70 minutes. Krajinovic has a career-high 26 match wins this year, highlighted by a run to the Hungarian Open final (l. to Berrettini).


Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/shapovalov-carreno-busta-tipsarevic-stockholm-2019-friday

Marathon Man Seppi Upsets Defending Champion Khachanov In Moscow

Andreas Seppi proved once again at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow that age is just a number. The 35-year-old Italian showed off his supreme fitness on Friday in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 quarter-final upset over second-seeded Russian and defending champion Karen Khachanov.

“I think the match didn’t start so well. I was hitting a lot of second serves, but I got better and better as the match went on and that was the key,” Seppi said. “I’m still managing to run well and I’m in the semi-finals here again, so hopefully I can keep going.”

Seppi, who took the title in Moscow in 2012 (d. Bellucci), has won all of his matches this week in three sets. He continues to thrive at this event, having reached at least the quarter-finals in his past six appearances.

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Khachanov broke Seppi twice to power through the opening set, but the Italian began the second set with different tactics. He began to hit more off-speed shots and effectively utilise his slice backhand, forcing Khachanov to generate his own pace and creating more unforced errors. Khachanov was unable to take advantage of four break points with Seppi serving at 4-3, then hit a forehand into the net in the next game to set up a deciding set.

Little separated the pair in the final set, but Seppi found a new gear at 3-3. The Italian won 12 of the last 14 points, including an outrageous forehand passing shot on the run to set up match point, scoring his 10th career victory over a Top 10 player.

He'll now face seventh-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, last year's runner-up, who defeated fourth-seeded Serbian Dusan Lajovic 7-6(3), 6-1. Mannarino defeated Seppi last year in the Moscow semi-finals, but the pair are tied 4-4 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry.

Third-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic built off recording the 500th tour-level victory of his career on Thursday, outlasting Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(2) for his first ATP Tour semi-final of the season. Cilic couldn't convert a match on Chardy's serve at 5-4, but regrouped strongly to advance in two hours and 22 minutes. He improved to 4-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Chardy.

Cilic will next face sixth seed and home favourite Andrey Rublev, who encountered few problems in his 6-2, 6-3 win over Serbian Nikola Milojevic. The 21-year-old Russian has gone

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/khachanov-cilic-mannarino-moscow-2019-friday

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