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Tennis | ATP

Roger Federer © Reuters

Spotlight on hometown-hero Federer



Roger Federer will claim the bulk of the spotlight when the ATP Swiss Indoors begins on Monday with his opening showcase match.

The hometown tennis hero and world No 1 will miss the chance at possible revenge against Andy Murray after a Shanghai semifinal defeat a week ago as the US Open champion Scot withdrew with back pain before the draw.

It was Murray's second straight Basle pullout after he quit prior to his first match a year ago with a muscle injury. The new US Open champion has not actually played a match at the venue since his only appearance in 2005 as a teenager.

Federer, as usual, is scheduled for prime-time Monday evening at the St Jakobshalle, the iconic local venue where he got his start in tennis two decades ago as a ballboy at the tournament.

He will face 32nd-ranked Frenchman Jeremy Chardy for the first time.

The world No 1 will be fighting during the week to protect his top season ranking, with pressure on from No 2 Serb Novak Djokovic, who is taking the week off from competition.

Federer is defending champion's points over the next three weeks after a stunning finish to last season.

The 31-year-old has won five of the last six editions in Basle, defeating Japan's rising ace Kei Nishikori in the 2011 final.

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, chasing a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals in London for which Federer has already qualified, takes the second seeding, ahead of Richard Gasquet of France.

Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka is seeded fourth and begins against Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko. The "junior" Swiss is seeded for a semifinal meeting with Federer.

Italian Andreas Seppi takes the fifth seeding, ahead of Mikhail Youzhny, Florian Mayer and Viktor Troicki.

Wild cards go to a pair of Swiss, hometowner and longtime Federer friend Marco Chiudinelli and youngster Henri Laaksonen.

SEEDS
Roger Federer (SUI x1)
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x2)
Richard Gasquet (FRA x3)
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x4)
Andreas Seppi (ITA x5)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS x6)
Florian Mayer (GER x7)
Viktor Troicki (SRB x8)

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Kevin Anderson
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I hope many of you were able to watch one of the most historic US Opens in recent history.