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Read & Watch: Kevin Saves M.P. To Boost London Bid

Kevin Anderson saved a match point and strengthened his Nitto ATP Finals bid on Monday, beating recent China Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 to start the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna.

The South African is trying to make his debut at the prestigious season finale, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London. Anderson is in seventh place in the ATP Race To London, with 3,765 points, 105 behind sixth-placed Marin Cilic (3,870), who advanced on Monday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. The top eight in the Race on 5 November qualify.

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Basilashvili, who reached a career-high No. 23 in the ATP Rankings earlier this month, had a match point at 6/5 in the second-set tie-break. But Anderson won the final three points of the tie-break to force a third set, where he broke in the seventh and ninth games to advance.

The second seed will next meet Austrian wild card Jurgen Melzer, who beat former World No. 3 Milos Raonic 7-6(6), 7-5. The 37-year-old Melzer is playing in his final singles tournament.

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Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics knocked out #NextGenATP wild card Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 1-6, 6-0, 7-5 in two hours and six minutes. Fucsovics, the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open titlist (d. Gojowczyk) in May, won eight straight games from the start of the second set to 2-0 in the third set.

Russia’s Andrey Rublev, who is in contention for a spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan from 6-10 November, overcame American qualifier Denis Kudla 7-6(3), 6-0 in 61 minutes. Rublev is currently in seventh position in the ATP Race To Milan. Sixth seed Borna Coric, the Rolex Shanghai Masters finalist (l. to Djokovic), held off Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-4.

Read & Watch: Kevin Saves M.P. To Boost London Bid

Kevin Anderson saved a match point and strengthened his Nitto ATP Finals bid on Monday, beating recent China Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 to start the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna.

The South African is trying to make his debut at the prestigious season finale, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London. Anderson is in seventh place in the ATP Race To London, with 3,765 points, 105 behind sixth-placed Marin Cilic (3,870), who advanced on Monday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. The top eight in the Race on 5 November qualify.

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Basilashvili, who reached a career-high No. 23 in the ATP Rankings earlier this month, had a match point at 6/5 in the second-set tie-break. But Anderson won the final three points of the tie-break to force a third set, where he broke in the seventh and ninth games to advance.

The second seed will next meet Austrian wild card Jurgen Melzer, who beat former World No. 3 Milos Raonic 7-6(6), 7-5. The 37-year-old Melzer is playing in his final singles tournament.

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Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics knocked out #NextGenATP wild card Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 1-6, 6-0, 7-5 in two hours and six minutes. Fucsovics, the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open titlist (d. Gojowczyk) in May, won eight straight games from the start of the second set to 2-0 in the third set.

Russia’s Andrey Rublev, who is in contention for a spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan from 6-10 November, overcame American qualifier Denis Kudla 7-6(3), 6-0 in 61 minutes. Rublev is currently in seventh position in the ATP Race To Milan. Sixth seed Borna Coric, the Rolex Shanghai Masters finalist (l. to Djokovic), held off Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-4.

Former Champ Cilic Finds Winning Stride In Basel

Third seed Marin Cilic won his first tournament match since 3 September on Monday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. The 2016 champion routed #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-2.

Cilic raced to a 4-0 lead in the first before Shapovalov came back. But the Croatian rode two breaks and benefitted from 23 unforced errors from the left-hander in the second set to reach the second round, where he’ll face Romanian Marius Copil, who beat Ryan Harrison of the U.S. 6-2, 7-6(8).

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Cilic, after reaching the US Open quarter-finals (l. to Nishikori), endured a pair of close losses during the Asian swing. The top seed twice served for the match in his Tokyo opener against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff but fell in three sets. In Shanghai, Cilic held two match points but Chilean Nicolas Jarry sprung the upset.

The Croatian is looking to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London, for the fourth time. Cilic is in sixth place in the ATP Race To London and next in line to qualify.

Earlier in Basel, #NextGenATP American Taylor Fritz earned his first Basel win, beating Serbian qualifier Laslo Djere 6-0, 7-5. Fritz will next face Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen, who beat sixth seed Marco Cecchinato of Italy 6-4, 6-2.

The 20-year-old Fritz will make his debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan next month. Eight players will compete at the 21-and-under event, to be held 6-10 November at the Fiera Milano, and only two direct qualification spots remain. The eighth and final position will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifying tournament to finish 4 November.

 

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Zverev Fight To Reach Doubles QFs
Germans Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev battled back to beat Americans Nicholas Monroe and Jack Sock 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-4 in one hour and 35 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals. The brothers won five of the first six points in the Match tie-break.

Elsewhere, third seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau knocked out Dutchmen Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop 6-3, 6-4 in 55 minutes, while fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Marcel Granollers swept past Spanish qualifiers Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and David Marrero 6-1, 6-4 in 58 minutes.

Former Champ Cilic Finds Winning Stride In Basel

Third seed Marin Cilic won his first tournament match since 3 September on Monday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. The 2016 champion routed #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-2.

Cilic raced to a 4-0 lead in the first before Shapovalov came back. But the Croatian rode two breaks and benefitted from 23 unforced errors from the left-hander in the second set to reach the second round, where he’ll face Romanian Marius Copil, who beat Ryan Harrison of the U.S. 6-2, 7-6(8).

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Cilic, after reaching the US Open quarter-finals (l. to Nishikori), endured a pair of close losses during the Asian swing. The top seed twice served for the match in his Tokyo opener against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff but fell in three sets. In Shanghai, Cilic held two match points but Chilean Nicolas Jarry sprung the upset.

The Croatian is looking to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London, for the fourth time. Cilic is in sixth place in the ATP Race To London and next in line to qualify.

Earlier in Basel, #NextGenATP American Taylor Fritz earned his first Basel win, beating Serbian qualifier Laslo Djere 6-0, 7-5. Fritz will next face Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen, who beat sixth seed Marco Cecchinato of Italy 6-4, 6-2.

The 20-year-old Fritz will make his debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan next month. Eight players will compete at the 21-and-under event, to be held 6-10 November at the Fiera Milano, and only two direct qualification spots remain. The eighth and final position will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifying tournament to finish 4 November.

 

Watch Live

Zverev Fight To Reach Doubles QFs
Germans Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev battled back to beat Americans Nicholas Monroe and Jack Sock 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-4 in one hour and 35 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals. The brothers won five of the first six points in the Match tie-break.

Elsewhere, third seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau knocked out Dutchmen Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop 6-3, 6-4 in 55 minutes, while fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Marcel Granollers swept past Spanish qualifiers Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and David Marrero 6-1, 6-4 in 58 minutes.

When Roger Thought He’d Never Win Basel

Roger Federer thought his days of competing for a Swiss Indoors Basel title were done. It was 2001, 17 years and eight Basel titles ago, and Federer had just lost to Brit Tim Henman in his second hometown final.

The Swiss thought the lifelong dream that he’d had since he was a ball boy for two years at the tournament – winning the Basel title – would never happen.

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“I was never going to win, period. That was it. Because I thought I had two chances, I wasted both opportunities… You don’t get many more opportunities,” Federer said.

He’s had a few more chances since then. Federer will go for his ninth Swiss Indoors Basel title this week. The 37-year-old is 66-9 at the ATP World Tour 500-level event, has reached the final in 11 straight appearances (2006-15, 2017) – and 13 overall. And, since his loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the 2013 final, Federer has won 15 consecutive matches in his hometown.

Watch: Federer: ‘I Have So Many Memories’

“I had to wait for it,” Federer said. “It was hard for me. Then in 2006, finally, it all worked out, I got my first Basel and then everything changed forever. I knew I could do this result again. And I was able to defend and to handle pressure and all the expectations that surrounds this tournament for me. It’s been a wonderful tournament for me, especially doing it from being a ball boy here for two years, is a great feeling.”

The trip home comes with a unique set of pressures for Federer. He’s thrilled to be in familiar territory, but he’s also eager to make his stay last.

“I enjoy myself, No. 1 here in Basel, because it’s where I grew up, I have so many memories… A lot of friends and people I know here from in the organisation… come to watch. So of course I love being in the area,” Federer said. “With that, comes pressure. I want to do well, I want to stay here as long as possible. Because in tennis, when you lose you leave… And just because it’s gone well in previous years doesn’t mean automatically it’s going to happen again.

“But I’m excited, I’ve been there before, I’ve done it many times, playing under pressure here in Basel.”

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Some of the pressure on Federer in Basel has been relieved because he’s already booked his spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London. He will make his 16th visit to the season finale (2002-15, 2017) and go for his seventh title (2003-04, 2006-07, 2010-11).

“It’s always good having qualified way before the Race heats up, after the US Open. Because [if you haven’t], then you’re really thinking about rankings, you’re thinking about the struggle, having to qualify, having to produce results under pressure, not that we’re not used to that, but it’s just different, because normally we can just go play tennis,” Federer said.

“So for me… I can go out there, enjoy myself, play my best, enjoy the indoor tour. I love the indoor tournaments, I usually always play very well in those. Of course it’s a huge goal of mine, the London [Nitto ATP Finals]. It’s one of those events you want to compete in, the ones you want to win.”

When Roger Thought He’d Never Win Basel

Roger Federer thought his days of competing for a Swiss Indoors Basel title were done. It was 2001, 17 years and eight Basel titles ago, and Federer had just lost to Brit Tim Henman in his second hometown final.

The Swiss thought the lifelong dream that he’d had since he was a ball boy for two years at the tournament – winning the Basel title – would never happen.

View Basel Draw

“I was never going to win, period. That was it. Because I thought I had two chances, I wasted both opportunities… You don’t get many more opportunities,” Federer said.

He’s had a few more chances since then. Federer will go for his ninth Swiss Indoors Basel title this week. The 37-year-old is 66-9 at the ATP World Tour 500-level event, has reached the final in 11 straight appearances (2006-15, 2017) – and 13 overall. And, since his loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the 2013 final, Federer has won 15 consecutive matches in his hometown.

Watch: Federer: ‘I Have So Many Memories’

“I had to wait for it,” Federer said. “It was hard for me. Then in 2006, finally, it all worked out, I got my first Basel and then everything changed forever. I knew I could do this result again. And I was able to defend and to handle pressure and all the expectations that surrounds this tournament for me. It’s been a wonderful tournament for me, especially doing it from being a ball boy here for two years, is a great feeling.”

The trip home comes with a unique set of pressures for Federer. He’s thrilled to be in familiar territory, but he’s also eager to make his stay last.

“I enjoy myself, No. 1 here in Basel, because it’s where I grew up, I have so many memories… A lot of friends and people I know here from in the organisation… come to watch. So of course I love being in the area,” Federer said. “With that, comes pressure. I want to do well, I want to stay here as long as possible. Because in tennis, when you lose you leave… And just because it’s gone well in previous years doesn’t mean automatically it’s going to happen again.

“But I’m excited, I’ve been there before, I’ve done it many times, playing under pressure here in Basel.”

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Some of the pressure on Federer in Basel has been relieved because he’s already booked his spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London. He will make his 16th visit to the season finale (2002-15, 2017) and go for his seventh title (2003-04, 2006-07, 2010-11).

“It’s always good having qualified way before the Race heats up, after the US Open. Because [if you haven’t], then you’re really thinking about rankings, you’re thinking about the struggle, having to qualify, having to produce results under pressure, not that we’re not used to that, but it’s just different, because normally we can just go play tennis,” Federer said.

“So for me… I can go out there, enjoy myself, play my best, enjoy the indoor tour. I love the indoor tournaments, I usually always play very well in those. Of course it’s a huge goal of mine, the London [Nitto ATP Finals]. It’s one of those events you want to compete in, the ones you want to win.”