We are down to four men chasing the ATP 500 title at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, including some of the world’s best and most in-form players. All eyes will be on World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz as he takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime, who currently holds an 11-match winning streak. In the other semifinal, young Dane Holger Rune squares off against veteran Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. We at LWOT have the preview and prediction for both matches; but who will advance?
ATP Swiss Indoors Basel Semifinal Predictions
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Holger Rune
Head-to-Head: first meeting
19-year-old Holger Rune is currently playing the best tennis of his young career. Rune has won 12 of his last 13 matches, including a title last week in Stockholm. He has dropped only two sets during his eight-match win streak, though a tough out in Roberto Bautista Agut awaits in the semis. Coming into Basel, Bautista Agut had lost three straight matches. He has flipped the script in Switzerland, beating Laslo Djere, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka in straight sets en route to his fourth semifinal of the season. The 34-year-old Spaniard has racked up 39 wins this season, posting a 9-3 mark on indoor hard courts.
Bautista Agut is a very strong coutnerpuncher. However, in his current form, the Spaniard has been attacking first balls and putting his opponents on their heels. Against the powerful Rune, expect Bautista Agut to play like a backboard as the young Dane swings himself out. Rune hits a clean and sharp ball from both wings; However, like any 19-year-old, he can sometimes struggle with consistency.
Although I believe Bautista Agut is a tough matchup stylistically for the Dane, Rune is in too strong of form to let this one slip away.
Prediction: Rune in 3
Carlos Alcaraz vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Head-to-Head: Alcaraz 0-2 Auger-Aliassime
World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz squares off with the most in-form player on tour, Felix Auger-Aliassime, in the Basel semifinals. Auger-Aliassime holds the 2-0 head-to-head advantage over the Spaniard, including a three-set victory early this year in Davis Cup group play. The Canadian comes into Basel off of back-to-back titles and currently holding an 11-match winning streak. He dropped six games in his previous two wins over Miomir Kecmanovic and Alexander Bublik. The 19-year-old Alcaraz will need to bring a high level of consistency to the court if he wants to bother Auger-Aliassime. Lucky for Alcaraz, consistency has been the name of the game for him this season. The 19-year-old holds a 55-11 record and is on the brink of reaching his eighth final of the season.
Stylistically, both Alcaraz and Auger-Aliassime possess various weapons to break through their opponents. During Auger-Aliassime’s 11-match win streak, his serve is helping him control his opponents. The Canadian has put at least 64 percent of his first-serves in play in ten of those 11 matches. He has backed up that consistency from the ground, but keeping his first-serve percentage high is an excellent way to put the attacking Alcaraz on his back foot. For Alcaraz, controlled aggression will be critical. The 19-year-old’s attacking style has brought him to World No. 1, but against a player with as much consistency as Auger-Aliassime, Alcaraz must not press. It can be frustrating for someone as talented as Alcaraz to play a more patient style, but if he goes for lines on every shot, Auger-Aliassime will eat him up.
I expect this match to live up to its expectations. I give the slightest edge to Alcaraz, who should be a bit fresher than Auger-Aliassime, who is playing his 12th match in 16 days.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 3
Main Photo from Getty.