Roger Federer will return to his hometown, after missing out last year due to injury. Federer aims to narrow the gap between him and Nadal, to end the year as world No.1. The Swiss maestro could dethrone Nadal, if he wins the Basel Open and puts up a good performance in Paris. However, Federer has a tough draw in his path.
He will square off against Frances Tiafoe, who stretched Roger Federer in the very first round of the US open. Federer praised the youngster, and said he has the potential to go on and win multiple titles. “I hope I can stick around for a little bit. I do feel a lot of pressure, I must admit,” said Federer. “On Tuesday I play against a good first-round opponent in Frances Tiafoe, who is going to have a great career – I hope he’s not going to start his full-blown career right here in Basel, my hometown, I hope he leaves me this one and maybe he can have the next one!”
A tough draw awaits Federer at the Basel Open
Considering that the tournament rewards just 500 points, the quality of players participating is surprisingly of a high caliber. Marin Cilic is the defending champion, who won the tournament last year in the absence of Roger Federer. Juan Martin del Potro is fresh of a title in Intrum Stockholm Open, securing a straight sets victory over Grigor Dimitrov. He could meet Federer in the finals. David Goffin is another player to look out for as he looks to repeat his run in 2014(reaching the finals).
But Federer is coming off a wonderful season himself. He has reached the finals of the Basel open ten times. “I’m really hoping to win that first one and then sort of get into the tournament. I have a really tough draw as well if you just look one round ahead with Benoit Paire or Steve Johnson. I usually don’t do that but it’s a tough little section for an ATP 500. It’s a tough start so I don’t know what to expect, personally.
“Thankfully the pressure has not been a big issue for me here in Basel because I’ve been in the finals the last 10 times that I have played here, but there’s no guarantee I will do it again this year,” he added. “So that’s why I arrived early, I’ve practiced a lot here on the centre court already, I’m starting to feel the ball better and my body is ready to go, so I’m hoping to play a good tournament.”
Federer, as always, refuses to look beyond his first round, as he should, because he faces a tough opponent in Frances Tiafoe.