Say 4 at the ATP 500 Swiss Indoors in Basel offers many intriguing storylines as some of the world’s best have gathered in Switzerland to compete for the title. There will be five second-round matches on Thursday as the 32-man draw whittles itself down to eight quarterfinalists. Veterans Andy Murray and Roberto Bautista Agut square off in what has turned into a very open bottom half of the Basel draw. We at LWOT have the preview and prediction for that match as well as all other happenings around the grounds of Basel. But who will advance?
ATP Basel Day 4 Predictions
Stan Wawrinka vs Brandon Nakashima
Head-to-Head: first meeting
Veteran Stan Wawrinka will take on young American Brandon Nakashima in the second round in Basel. It will be the first meeting between the two. Wawrinka, who reached the semifinals in Metz last month, is on the brink of reaching his second quarterfinal of the season. The fight back from injury has been tough for the 37-year-old, but a 6-3 record over the past month with wins over Casper Ruud and Daniil Medvedev have him feeling confident in his game. Nakashima is also confident in his current form. The Next Gen American is 9-2 over the past month including capturing his maiden title in San Diego. An improvement in his serve has led Nakashima to his current career-high ranking of World No. 43. I expect a fierce battle between these two in-form opponents. Wawrinka will have the home crowd behind him, but I believe the consistency from both wings is what helps push Nakashima through.
Prediction: Nakashima in 3
Holger Rune vs Ugo Humbert
Head-to-Head: Rune 1-0 Humbert
19-year-old Holger Rune is currently playing the best tennis of his life. Rune is coming off of back-to-back finals appearances in Sofia and Stockholm, the latter of which he took down Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title. He backed up that performance with a 6-2 7-5 Round One victory over Alex de Minaur in Basel. The Dane matches up with Ugo Humbert in Round Two. Rune won their only meeting 6-3 6-2 earlier this year at Indian Wells. 2022 has been a year of struggles for Humbert, though, he has found some form at the Challenger Level during the indoor hardcourt season. He holds an 11-4 record on the surface this season. With that said, the 24-year-old Frenchman holds an abysmal 4-16 record against top 75 players this season. I expect Rune to be able to handle Humbert in this one.
Prediction: Rune in 2
Alexander Bublik vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Head-to-Head: Bublik 2-0 Ramos-Vinolas
Separated in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings by just two spots, Alexander Bublik and Albert Ramos-Vinolas are set to square off with a spot in the Basel quarterfinals on the line. The Spaniard pulled off one of the more surprising upsets of the first round, downing a very in-form Lorenzo Musetti 1-6 6-3 6-4. With that said, Ramos-Vinolas has a career record of 22-47 on indoor hard courts. Bublik, on the other hand, favors this as his best surface. He is 16-6 on indoor hard courts this season and has won nine of his past 12 matches overall. I have trouble picturing Ramos-Vinolas backing up his win over Musetti against such an adept indoor hardcourt player like Bublik. I expect the 25-year-old to cruise into his sixth quarterfinal of the season.
Prediction: Bublik in 2
Miomir Kecmanovic vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Head-to-Head: Kecmanovic 2-1 Auger-Aliassime
Felix Auger-Aliassime has found some of his best tennis at the perfect time. The 22-year-old Canadian is square on the bubble of the Singles Race to Turin but has come up with massive results over the past two weeks to improve his chances of making the 2022 ATP Finals.
Auger-Aliassime is coming off of back-to-back titles in Florence and Antwerp. He has played the big points well and is proving why he deserves a spot in the year-end finals. His Round 2 opponent in Basel is Miomir Kecmanovic. The 23-year-old Serb is looking to finish the best season of his young career with a bang. He is 6-2 over his last eight matches and has shown a strong proclivity to indoor hard courts. I expect a very entertaining battle between these two in Basel. In a match I see going three sets, I give a slight advantage to Kecmanovic. I love his game on this surface and fear FAA, who is playing in his tenth match in the past 15 days, may wear down.
Prediction: Kecmanovic in 3
Andy Murray vs Roberto Bautista Agut
Head-to-Head: Murray 3-2 Bautista Agut
Veterans Andy Murray and Roberto Bautista Agut are set to square off for the sixth time in their careers. The Spaniard has won the last two meetings, including a 6-0 6-1 thrashing earlier this year in Doha. Murray came back from a set down to defeat Roman Safiullin in Round One and should be feeling solid with where his game is at. Of course, he is not the vintage Andy Murray, but the 35-year-old has climbed his way back inside the World’s Top 50 and has shown he can contend with the best players in the game. Bautista Agut has continued his consistent ways in 2022 and is looking to reach his seventh quarterfinal of the season. Expect these two to battle from the baseline all match long. Whoever can gain the advantage early in points will take hold of this match. In what I expect to be a very tight contest, I give the slight edge to the more consistent Spaniard.
Prediciton: Bautista Agut in 3
Main Photo from Getty.