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23

Oct

2017

Dear City of Basel, do you have no tennis sons?

The withdrawal of Marco Chiudinelli (photo) from the grand ATP Tour is a watershed. For 18 years, tennis has been his hobby and profession. That at the age of 36 he is thinking about lowering his anchor elsewhere is somehow logical after being dogged by so many injuries. The man with the powerful serve spent many years in the shadow of his friend and companion Roger Federer. It is the world star in particular along with «Chiudi» who have brought glamour to the tennis temple on the river Rhine. The chronicler has no wish to court controversy when he sees Basel as a potential future tennis desert. Indeed, there is no sign of replacement Basel blood in the Swiss A ranking.  In this regard, it is worth remembering that before Chiudinelli a certain Dominik Utzinger played a national role. He appeared in the Davis Cup team and later moved up in the world of Swiss tennis all the way to full-time national trainer. And before Utzinger, who went on to try (and also find) his luck in Thailand, there was a certain Edgar Schürmann present on the Rhine, a firmly established presence in the then still existing Kings Cup Team. So, the city of Basel is now facing a bizarre sporting balance: the Swiss Indoors as an absolute world-class tournament; Roger Federer as the highflier of tennis history; but in terms of future talent, the proverbial «zéro points». Small comfort for Basel: the city of Bern is not one iota better off. Good night, tennis-Switzerland!

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