Federer can complete career trophy haul with Davis Cup victory
The best tennis nations in the world in 2014 go head-to-head, with geographical neighbours Switzerland and France in the Davis Cup final – this sport’s most prestigious team tournament.
Roger Federer and co go into this encounter as odds-on favourites at 8/11, and the Swiss will have the world number two and reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka at their disposal, despite their recent fall-out.
They met in a tense semi at the ATP World Tour Finals, where Federer eventually won, but the match was overshadowed by what went on after, with a reported locker room spat.
But the all-time great played down that the duo have fallen out, saying: “There’s no hard feeling whatsoever. We are friends, not enemies, but it was maybe one of those heat-of-the-moment situations. We had a conversation after the match and every one is totally relaxed about the situation.”
Wawrinka, meanwhile, echoed those sentiments, and added: “For me, there is not much to say because it’s become a big deal because of the press.
“But for us it’s nothing really. It took us five minutes to talk about that and to move on to the next goal which is the Davis Cup this weekend.”
Quite interestingly, though, the duo have been kept apart for the doubles match, that takes place on the second day (Saturday November 22nd). Federer and Wawrinka were partners for Switzerland’s win over Kazakhstan in the quarters, but Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer will take their place against Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet of France.
The Swiss top 10 singles-ranked duo do, though, face challenges on Friday to try and get their nation into a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five competition.
Wawrinka goes up first against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 1pm British time, and is odds-on at 8/11 to beat him. The Frenchman, however, holds a 3-2 record over him, and is evens for victory.
Federer, who will be aiming to complete his career medal haul with triumph at the Davis Cup to go with his 17 Grand Slam titles, six World Tour Finals trophies and Olympic Gold medal, meanwhile, faces Gael Monfils.
The talented Frenchman has won just two of his 10 head-to-heads with the 33-year-old, and is an outside 7/4 chance to defeat him. Federer is odds-on at 2/5.
Switzerland have never won the Davis Cup since its inauguration in 1900, but did reach the final in 1992, when they lost to the USA.
France, meanwhile, who are on home turf (at Lille’s football ground), are nine-time champions and are evens chances for their 10th. They last won in 2001, and were runners-up as recently as 2010.