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Ricky’s preview and picks for this week’s ATP 500 tournaments in Vienna and Basel

Not including the Nitto ATP Finals and Davis Cup, the penultimate week of the 2022 ATP season has arrived. It is a huge one, too, as a pair of 500-point tournaments are on the schedule and three spots in the year-end championship are still up for grabs. Other than Rafael Nadal (already clinched), Novak Djokovic (already clinched), and Nick Kyrgios, all of the Turin contenders are playing in either Vienna or Basel.

Erste Bank Open

: Vienna, Austria
Surface: Indoor hard
Top seed: Daniil Medvedev
2021 champion: Alexander Zverev (not playing)

Daniil Medvedev is next in line to secure his spot in the Nitto ATP Finals, and that is exactly what he will do if he lifts the trophy in Vienna. This field is absolutely loaded, though, so the No. 1 seed doesn’t have an easy path to the title. Medvedev has an easy opener against Nikoloz Basilashvili but would face either Tommy Paul or Dominic Thiem in the second round before possibly meeting Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals. Sinner has been awesome in 2022 and will have a bit of a home-court advantage in Austria, so he may be tough to beat this week. Still, it would surprise no one if an all-Russian semifinal showdown between Medvedev and Andrey Rublev comes to fruition. Rublev is on a roll right now and is also eager to clinch a Turin berth. His potential path to the last four is Diego Schwartzman, Grigor Dimitrov, and then Cameron Norrie.

The unseeded contingent in Vienna is incredibly strong, especially in the bottom half of the bracket. Among those lurking are Dan Evans, Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, Frances Tiafoe, and Borna Coric. Matteo Berrettini is coming off a runner-up performance in Naples and is less than 100 percent physically, so Evans will like his chances in round one—if Berrettini even plays. Tiafoe vs. Hubert Hurkacz is another first-rounder to watch, while Coric could meet Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round and Shapovalov is likely to battle Taylor Fritz.

Quarterfinal picks: Daniil Medvedev over Jannik Sinner, Andrey Rublev over Cameron Norrie, Taylor Fritz over Dan Evans, and Emil Ruusuvuori over Borna Coric

Semifinals: Rublev over Medvedev and Fritz over Ruusuvuori

Final: Rublev over Fritz

Swiss Indoors Basel

Where: Basel, Switzerland
Surface: Indoor hard
Top seed: Carlos Alcaraz
2019 champion: Roger Federer (not playing)

Roger Federer obviously isn’t playing in Basel, nor is even going to be on hand for a farewell ceremony (that will possibly happen next year). Overall, the Swiss fans may not have anything to cheer about when it comes to hometown heroes. All three local players have rough draws. Stan Wawrinka is facing No. 2 seed Casper Ruud, Marc-Andrea Huesler has to go up against No. 3 seed and Antwerp champion Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Dominic Stricker awaits Maxime Cressy’s serve-and-volley tactics in relatively fast indoor conditions. Auger-Aliassime and Lorenzo Musetti are both recent title winners (Musetti beat Berrettini on Sunday in Naples) and they are on a collision course for the Basel quarterfinals. The winner could run into world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in the semis.

In a much weaker bottom half, Ruud’s potential road to the final could also include Brandon Nakashima, Roberto Bautista Agut or Andy Murray, and Alex de Minaur—assuming the Norwegian gets past Wawrinka in round one. An opener between De Minaur and Holger Rune is a rematch of the Stockholm semifinals on Saturday, won by Rune in three tight sets on his eventual way to the title (upset Tsitsipas in the championship match). Rune is unseeded in Basel along with Wawrinka, Nakashima, Murray, Cressy, David Goffin, Jenson Brooksby, Jack Draper, and Botic van de Zandschulp.

Quarterfinal picks: Carlos Alcaraz over Maxime Cressy, Felix Auger-Aliassime over Alexander Bublik, Alex de Minaur over Marin Cilic, and Roberto Bautista Agut over Brandon Nakashima

Semifinals: Auger-Aliassime over Alcaraz and De Minaur over Bautista Agut

Final: Auger-Aliassime over De Minaur

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.