Six of seven contenders for the last spot in London disappointed this week, only Richard Gasquet thanks to reaching semifinal increased his chances. Admittedly Jo-Wilfried Tsonga isn’t confirmed officially yet, but his point-advantage over the next player in the ranking (500 points over Tipsarevic) is huge enough to assume his London absence is improbable. Roger Federer started his home tournament in Basel with a tough task: three consecutive tournaments ahead week by week with plenty points to defend to secure No. 1 at the end of the year (last year the Swiss won the last three tournaments of the season but they took place within four weeks). The first bridge turned into a small collapse – Federer lost the final to Juan Martin del Potro  whom had beaten six times this year. Well, the Argentine was close to beat Federer in Dubai, Paris and London (Olympics). He was not far away from suffering another tight defeat as Federer survived the 2nd set (saved a mini-match point at 5-all with an inside-out forehand) and had four break points in the decider (three at 1-all, another one at 3-all). Ultimately Del Potro prevailed (2:44 hrs)after Federer’s two forehand unforced errors in the final tie-break. “It was an unbelievable final, the match was really close,” said del Potro after winning 10th encounter in a row. “After six losses, it was a big win for me. I was fighting all the time. I got lucky in the end, but I felt that I played a really good match.” Del Potro’s 13th title and 200th for the Argentina in the Open era #. Grigor Dimitrov notched a bizarre tie-break streak: first, he played five consecutive tie-breaks in Basel (Benneteau, Mathieu) with a 2-3 outcome of them, after losing on Friday he went to Paris where he beat the best tie-break player of the season (Darcis) 7-6 7-6 in the qualifying round on Saturday, and added another tie-break scalp the following day dismissing De Veigy 6-2 7-6 – he has concluded 8 out of 9 sets played lately in tie-breaks, it’s astonishing given the young Bulgarian isn’t an all-serve machine. David Ferrer  has won six titles this year (as many as Federer) after clinching third title in Valencia (the first one on clay back in 2008), improving his record to 17-15 in the ATP finals. The Spaniard at the age of 30 enjoys definitely the best season of his career. Ferrer this week in his hometown defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov twice; partnering two years older Juan Carlos Ferrero in the doubles first round, four days later in the singles final. “It’s always very difficult to play at home,” said Ferrer. “I knew it would be more difficult to win the title again. He’s a very talented opponent. I played aggressively and it went well for me. I want to dedicate the victory to Ferrero on his farewell. He has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and as a player.” Ferrero in his farewell tournament notched first semifinal in doubles (!) – but it was just his 21st appearance in this competition, the first one in six years.
Basel (500) S: (2)Juan Martin del Potro d. (1)Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) D: (1)D.Nestor/N.Zimonjic d. T.C.Huey/D.Inglot 7-5, 6-7(4), [10-5]
Valencia (500) S: (1)David Ferrer d. Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 D: (2)A.Peya/B.Soares d. D.Marrero/F.Verdasco 6-3, 6-2
Choker of the week: Radek Stepanek, who led 6-2 3:0 with a double break in Basel against Brian Baker (first round). The American won 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-3.
# 200 Argentine titles in the Open era:
62 – Guillermo Vilas 25 – Jose Luis Clerc 13 – Juan Martin del Potro 12 – Martin Jaite 11 – David Nalbandian 9 – Guillermo Perez Roldan, Guillermo Coria 8 – Gaston Gaudio 7 – Guillermo Canas, Juan Monaco 6 – Juan Ignacio Chela 4 – Horacio de la Pena 3 – Jose Acasuso, Mariano Puerta, Franco Davin, Javier Frana, Alberto Mancini, Mariano Zabaleta, Franco Squillari 2 – Agustin Calleri 1 – Christian Miniussi, Gabriel Markus, Hernan Gumy, Roberto Arguello