The ATP Basel Swiss Indoors had its first major upset on Day 1, as Marin Cilic fell to Arthur Rinderknech. As Cilic was the only former champion in the draw, the Swiss Indoors will feature a new one. Of course, any champion enters under a gigantic shadow, as the facility where Roger Federer served as a ballboy saw the master take home ten titles over the course of his career. But Carlos Alcaraz is getting a dominant start to his young career, and looks strong in a draw that features neither Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, or Nick Kyrgios. Can Casper Ruud, perhaps, continue his strong play and make a push to steal Alcaraz’s #1 ranking in the near future? We make our calls on the matches. What do you think?
ATP Basel Day 3 Predictions
Jenson Brooksby vs Ugo Humbert
Head-to-head: first meeting
Ugo Humbert is slowly working his way back up the rankings after a devastating fall this summer, and after dropping well outside the top 100 despite having hit #25 only a year ago. He has dipped back into the Challenger Tour recently, after many failures at the ATP level, and is on the borderline between the two levels. He had two decent wins in qualifying (Aslan Karatsev and Bernabe Zapata Miralles), but Brooksby is a step up.
The American is most comfortable on hard courts, and has 16 more wins on the surface this year than Humbert. He hasn’t looked great since beating Borna Coric at the US Open, but he is due for a bounceback and should be able to handle the Frenchman.
Prediction: Brooksby in 2
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Dominic Stricker
Head-to-head: first meeting
Dominic Stricker scored a good first round win for the home crowd over Maxime Cressy, and he is a player on the rise, although as yet inexperienced at the ATP level. He has just two wins on hard court this year, and only four overall, and that is likely not enough to get it done against a Spaniard with an extremely high level when he is on. Pablo Carreno Busta has not looked great the last couple months, but Montreal showed what he is capable of, as he dispatched Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz, and Matteo Berrettini to take the Masters title. He can be streaky, but he is comfortable on hard court, and should take this match on the way to being a dark horse contender for the title here.
Prediction: Carreno Busta in 2
Lorenzo Musetti vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Musetti is becoming the success story everyone thought he would be when he first popped up on tour as a teenager a couple years ago. It’s been slower than predicted but steady nonetheless, and he enters Basel fresh off his first hard court title in Naples. Undoubtedly the Italian crowd helped push him through, but that couldn’t have been true for his finals victory over countryman Matteo Berrettini, an excellent victory that legitimizes Musetti’s continued rise. He has a tendency to be streaky, however, and that trend concerns me here.
Ramos-Vinolas is an unsung maestro who has hovered around his current ranking of #40 for over ten years, but unfortunately most of his success has come on clay. He has only five hard court wins this season, and a career win percentage on the surface twelve points lower than Musetti’s. The Italian should take this, but his streakiness could open a door for the veteran Spaniard.
Prediction: Musetti in 3
Main Photo from Getty.