Davis Cup is Switzerland’s to lose going into final day
Switzerland go into the last day of the Davis Cup final with a 2-1 lead, and will heavily fancy themselves to win this competition for the first time as they need just one more point.
With the scores level after day one, as Stan Wawrinka beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils destroyed Roger Federer, the Swiss duo teamed up in the doubles on Saturday to face France’s Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau.
Severin Luthi, Switzerland’s captain, had originally picked specialists Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer as his favoured pair. However, he went for Federer and Wawrinka, who won doubles Olympic Gold in 2008 and in the quarters this year against Kazakhstan, at the last moment instead.
They overcame their French opposition in front of a partisan crowd in Lille’s football stadium, beating them 6-3 7-5 6-4, to dispel fears that their recent fall-out would hinder their chances.
Now, Federer (odds-on at 8/13 for victory with Coral) has the chance to finish off the event and thus win the one trophy missing from his cabinet, against his old nemesis, Tsonga (6/5).
While the 17-time Grand Slam champion has a career 11-5 record over the Frenchman, Tsonga has managed to beat Federer at crucial moments, and they have had their fair share of epic encounters.
This will be their first meeting in the Davis Cup, but Tsonga has knocked his upcoming opponent out before at Wimbledon and, more recently, on clay (the same surface as Lille) at the 2013 French Open.
Twice in their head-to-heads, it has gone to five sets, with each winning one of those, so take odds of 9/2 for Federer to claim a 3-2 victory. Tsonga is priced at 5/1 in the same market.
Wawrinka (8/11 odds-on favourite in his match), meanwhile, takes on arguably the most naturally talented and athletic player on the tour in Monfils in the potential decider.
Only fitness troubles throughout Monfils’ career have prevented him from progressing further, but his ability showed against Federer on Friday. He is evens to win this battle.
The duo are tied with two victories apiece in their four head-to-heads, but have not faced each other since 2011, and never in a best of five match. Wawrinka won both of his encounters with Monfils in straight sets, so he is priced at 10/3 for a 3-0 scoreline.