Del Potro to deliver in Basel

  • By: Derek Bilton
  • Last Updated: October 21 2012, 20:43 BST

In-form Juan Martin Del Potro is the man our Derek Bilton fancies to topple Roger Federer in Basel this week.

Del Potro: Can take down Federer in Switzerland

Roger Federer has made the Swiss Indoors event in Basel his own in recent years and he goes off no bigger than 8/13 to defend his title there this week.

The Swiss legend is battling Novak Djokovic for the world number one spot and with Andy Murray having withdrawn from the event through injury Federer is the man the bookies want to keep onside.

Federer battered Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-1 in last year's final and in total he has won Basel five times. Federer has a fantastic 43-7 lifetime record at the event and he has not lost at the venue since 2009.

The Fed Express would be a wildly popular winner here again this week but a decent field has assembled and for me he looks one to swerve at odds-on.

Richard Gasquet for example, who won in Bangkok recently, has twice been a quarter-finalist here and has the game to go well indoors. Italy's Andreas Seppi is in the form of his life right now and having won the Kremlin Cup on Sunday might be a player to keep an eye on at 40/1.

However it could be worth getting on Juan Martin Del Potro to do the business. The big Argentine won in Vienna last week without ever really getting out of second gear and he knows another tournament win would leave him well placed to qualify for the World Tour Finals in London.

A healthy Del Potro remains one of the most dangerous players on the Tour and his huge serve and massive forehand should earn him plenty of cheap points in Switzerland.

'La Torre de Tandil' is currently ranked eight in the world but has been as high as four and having overcome some fairly serious injuries in the past 18 months he'll be looking to crack on now and start winning titles on a regular basis.

He's seeded two so could only meet Federer in the final and the pair enjoyed a battle royal at the Olympics this summer when Federer prevailed 19-17 in the final set of a high quality semi-final.

Elsewhere this week Juan Carlos Ferrero plays his last ever ATP event at the Valencia Open. 'The Mosquito', who won the French Open back in 2003, is a former world number one but he's been struggling for a few years now and is not expected to reach the business end of proceedings.

That's because he has a tough first match against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, a tenacious baseliner who's punched out some good results indoors and won this title twice before when it was played on red clay.

David Ferrer is a two-time winner in Valencia and he goes off as the event jolly. Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also have the game to go well but it could be worth sticking a few quid on Fernando Verdasco at fancy prices.

Verdasco won in Valencia back in 2004 and while the left-hander has not enjoyed a vintage year to date he has the game to go on a run this week.

Indeed the last ATP title he won was indoors in San Jose in 2010 and the Madrid man should be motivated to go well in his homeland. He meets Tommy Robredo first up and will be a big favourite to progress from that one.

He will probably have to negate a path past Ferrer (they are in the same half of the draw) but he's had some decent results against his compatriot and current odds of 40/1 look decent.

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