World’s No. 3 Roger Federer has won the Swiss Indoors title six times, and has been to the finals every year since 2006. Federer went into this week’s event as the top seed and the favorite. He’s well on his way to defending his title after a 6-1, 6-2 win over Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round.
Federer’s demise has been predicted for some time, but even at age 34, the Basel native remains one of the best hard-court players in men’s singles. He’s 27-4 this year on his second-favorite surface (grass remains Federer’s specialty), winning tournaments in Cincinnati, Dubai and Brisbane. However, Federer did lose to Albert Ramos-Vinolas last week in the Round of 32 at the Shanghai Masters.
There are seven other players from the ATP Top 16 participating in Basel; Federer’s toughest competition should come from fellow Swiss and World’s No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, as well as his old nemesis, No. 6 Rafael Nadal. Wawrinka and Nadal are in the bottom half of the bracket, so they’d have to play one another before getting a crack at Federer in the finals. No. 12 Kevin Anderson is the second highest-ranked player in Federer’s half of the draw.