Davidoff Swiss Indoors (5)
Coverage from ATP World Tour 500 Tournament in Switzerland October 1 - November 8, 2009
Six Times Ahead
Smells like Team Spirit
“It was stupid to get broken like that,” Gasquet said afterwards. “It was like a slap on the head.” Indeed,
In the first ever all-Serbian ATP World Tour Semifinal, Djokovic took on Viktor Troicki. While it was only their seventh meeting on Tour, the two have been playing tennis with each other since they were children. As Djokovic told us afterwards, "I've known Viktor since I was 8, 9 years old. We won the Under-16 and Under-18 European Team Championships together, played a lot of Davis Cup. We are good friends and it's not easy playing a friend."
As a result of his relationship with his opponent, the Serbian No. 1 was much more subdued in his display of emotions on court than he had been in his previous matches, when he had loudly cheered himself on after winning crucial points. His tennis, however, did not suffer.
- Post-match interviews are different at fall tournaments. The “How are you feeling?” questions sound more concerned, the “What do you think about your season?” ones are lacking the “so far” qualifiers. There are still plenty of points and money to play for, yet the focus already seems to be on what had been and on what will come to be next season.
- David Nalbandian, for example, says he doesn’t have big goals for the remainder of the year. The Argentine is just out to collect some ranking points and confidence to be in as good a position as possible for 2011, when he hopes to close the gap to the Top 10. For a player of his talent, Nalbandian sounds modest. But modesty is probably what you are left with at the tail end of a season interrupted by a nine-month absence due to surgery; the player himself said his year has been “very strange.” “You always have doubts [about surgeries]. I couldn’t continue playing, but if the surgery goes bad, then it’s over. That’s it,” he related, but quickly added: “I had a good recovery. After Wimbledon, I played some tournaments that made me feel better. It is tough to feel 100 % after injuries, but I feel good.”
The 2010 edition of the Davidoff Swiss Indoors marks the 40th anniversary of a tournament whose list of winners includes some of the sports’ big names, from John McEnroe to Stefan Edberg to Pete Sampras, and, of course, Basel’s own Roger Federer. But according to tournament director Roger Brennwald, the field has never been as deep as this year,with defending champion Novak Djokovic joining Federer and World Tour Final hopefuls Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick as the top four seeds.
The opening honors on Center Court, however, were given to Swiss wildcard recipient Stephane Bohli. Bohli entered the tournament on a 0-2 2010 record in ATP World Tour matches and didn’t improve it today against qualifier Robin Haase. Two knee surgeries had sidelined Haase for almost all of 2009, but this season the Dutchman makes a solid candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. He has won a Tour best five Challenger titles and went from being ranked well outside the top 400 at the beginning of the season to World No. 66. Against Bohli, Haase dominated on serve, denying his opponent even a single break point. He succeeded in keeping the visibly frustrated Swiss on the defense and won in two quick sets, 6-4, 6-3.