In Switzerland, it’s a repeat of last year’s final between Juan Martin Del Potro and home favourite Roger Federer, while in Spain it’s another Valencia final for local boy David Ferrer, who faces Mikhail Youzhny.
Juan Martin Del Potro vs Roger Federer in Basel
This second successive season of Delpo vs Roger in the Basel final will be the 18th career meeting between these two Grand Slam champions and their third in the last 12 months.
Delpo stuttered past Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Saturday to claim his place in his third final from three tournaments played since the US Open, while Federer had to dig deep to see off Vasek Pospisil to reach only his third final of the year and first since winning Halle in the summer.
Federer has probably had the tougher route to the final on paper and he looked to be feeling it a bit against Pospisil, but in any event his level just isn’t good enough these days to beat the best.
The Swiss is in severe decline and could easily have lost to Grigor Dimitrov or Pospisil and even Denis Istomin this week and he hasn’t beaten a top-10 ranked player since a five set success over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Melbourne at the start of the year.
Del Potro has had the better of this match-up in recent times after previously struggling against the Swiss and Fed’s last victory over Delpo was the epic 19-17 final set win at the Olympics last summer on grass.
This may well be the final time that the Basel crowd get to see Federer in their tournament, but there’s no room for sentimentality and I like the 2.05 about Delpo minus 2.5 games on the handicap here.
Mikhail Youzhny vs David Ferrer in Valencia
Youzhny will be looking to do much better in this eighth meeting between the Russian and the Spaniard than he achieved last time when Ferrer gave him a real beating at the French Open last year.
Mikhail famously wrote ‘SORRI’ in the red clay of Paris that day after a 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 defeat - an embarrassment he’s unlikely to have forgotten it and he will be up for a spot of revenge today, no doubt.
Youzhny has had his successes against Ferrer on indoor hard too, winning three of their four meetings on this surface, but they were a long time ago and two of them were in Rotterdam where it used to be quick.
Here on Ferrer’s home turf of Valencia it’s slow and although it would be a perfect opportunity for Youzhny to erase the memory of that day in Paris it seems unlikely that he will.
Ferrer loves it here in his home town and has a 28-5 record in Valencia with three titles, including the days when it was played on clay. That said, he has been beaten by a Russian in the final here before, back in 2005 when Igor Andreev defeated him in three on clay.
David was beaten in the final of Stockholm last week by Grigor Dimitrov, but his motivation here is higher and he’ll be looking to extend Youzhny’s losing 9-12 record in finals when this one begins at 3pm UK time today.
Ferrer is dead level at 20-20 in finals, but he has lost his last five straight and this won’t be as easy as his odds of 1.34 suggest.
With his slice, which this court aids, Youzhny has had some success here in Valencia, both this year and in his only previous appearance back in 2009. However, it’s tough to see it really harming Ferrer today.
David has dropped sets in four of his last seven matches and he isn’t in fabulous form at the moment, although he has improved since a pretty awful summer and he is motivated here of course.
This could be close for a while, but I think it’s worth chancing the 3.60 about a 2-1 Ferrer win today.
Back Del Potro –2.5 games to beat Federer at 2.05
Back Ferrer to beat Youzhny 2-1 at 3.60