The opening day of tennis action at the Swiss Indoor Open in Basel will feature world No. 3 Rafael Nadal attempt to salvage the final portion of his 2014 season. He will begin his campaign with a first round encounter against Italy’s Simone Bolelli, whom he has encountered on three previous occasions on the professional tour. Nadal leads the head-to-head series 3-0.
After several months on the sidelines, world No. 2 Rafael Nadal took part in his first tournament since Wimbledon in Beijing, where he defeated Richard Gasquet and Peter Gojowczyk before losing to Martin Klizan in the quarter-final round of the tournament.
While most would have expected him to only improve as the weeks go on, Nadal dropped a significant piece of information at the pre-tournament press conference, where he revealed that he is dealing with the early stages of appendicitis. He arrived in Shanghai shortly thereafter, where he lost his opening match against Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6.
“I was playing a good year, a very positive year. After that I was unlucky with the wrist, what’s going on now. Obviously the last couple of months have been a little bit hard for me.”
Simone Bolelli began his week in Basel with consecutive qualifying round victories over Lucas Pouille and Andreas Haider-Maurer. He will have yet another opportunity to earn his first ever win over the 14-time Grand Slam champion.
Expected to end his year in the coming weeks in favour of surgery, it is hard to determine how Nadal will perform in Basel. He holds a 3-0 lead over Bolelli in the head-to-head series and is still a hefty favourite over the Italian. If all goes according to plan, the Spaniard should ease into the second round with relative ease.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Three Sets