The ATP Tour visited Basel for the first time in 1975, staying in this picturesque town ever since and attracting some of the most notable names in the world of tennis. Bjorn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro had all celebrated here in the past but the hometown hero Roger Federer has stolen the glory from all of them, winning ten titles in total and advancing into 13 straight finals since 2006!
Twenty-two years after making a debut in Basel against Andre Agassi at the age of 17, Roger will embrace his 20th Swiss Indoors Basel in the last week of October if everything goes well with a coronavirus by then, with the organizers confirming him and Stan Wawrinka as the first participants of 2020 edition.
At the moment, it is uncertain if we are going to see any tennis in the rest of the year, with the pandemic raging on in Western Europe and all over the world, forcing players to isolate themselves and halt their practice sessions and training runs, at least on the court.
The organizers of the ATP 500 event in Basel are hoping the situation would get better in the next seven months, starting selling tickets at the beginning of April but offering a refund if they would have to cancel the tournament.
Roger and Stan played once against each other in Basel, battling for the place in the final in 2011, with Federer earning a 7-6, 6-2 victory against the rival who never had noticeable results in front of the home fans, reaching two semi-finals and owning a mediocre 13-13 score.
Last year, Stan had to give Roger a walkover in the quarter-final due to a back injury suffered against Frances Tiafoe in the previous round, with Federer ousting Alex de Minaur in the title clash to lift the tenth trophy in his hometown.