Federer sends Swiss into Davis Cup final
Originally published on 15/09/14
The 17-time Grand Slam champion, for whom the Davis Cup remains one of the few titles to have eluded him in a glittering career, beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-3 7-6(4) to secure an unassailable 3-1 lead, and with it the Swiss team’s place in the final.
Federer, who beat Simone Bolelli in Friday’s opening rubber, now has a 37-7 record in singles rubbers for Switzerland. Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka beat Fognini 6-2 6-3 6-2 to put Severin Luthi’s team in command on Friday before Fognini and Bolelli kept the tie alive with doubles victory over Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli 7-5 3-6 5-7 6-3 6-2 on Saturday.
That left Federer to secure the victory on Sunday and he delivered in front of the Geneva crowd, setting up a final against France, 4-1 winners against champions Czech Republic.
“I think the most classic match-ups I've had in my career have come against France,” said Federer. “We’ve always lost at home and won away so I'm happy, in a way, that the final is away. We've had some great ties here this year in Geneva, against Kazakhstan with 14,000 and then 18,000. We’re very pleased to be in the final and we'll see how it's going to go.”
It is only the second time that Switzerland has reached the Davis Cup final – in 1992 they finished runners-up to USA.
Federer and Wawrinka will attempt to bring home the trophy for the first time as they take on France, whose captain Arnaud Clement has players such as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet at his disposal.
The nine-time champions sealed victory on Saturday after Gasquet and Tsonga saw off Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(5) 6-1 to seal an unassailable 3-0 lead after the pair had won their respective singles rubbers on Friday.
"It's for sure one of the best moments in our career to play here in a semi-final and to win in the second day," Tsonga said. "We always kept the fighting spirit and stayed in the match – we all know the Davis Cup is tough."
Gasquet got Les Bleus off to a winning start with a 6-3 6-2 6-3 victory over Berdych, while Tsonga defeated Lukas Rosol 6-2 6-2 6-3. In Sunday’s dead rubbers, Jiri Vesely defeated Julien Benneteau before Monfils secured a 4-1 victory after coming back from a set down to beat Rosol.