Federer Stars This Weekend As Davis Cup Begins
by Sean Randall | February 9th, 2012, 1:08 pm
  • 66 Comments

Roger Federer is sole marquee this weekend for the opening round of the 2012 Davis Cup. Federer will lead his Swiss crew against visiting Team USA in perhaps the best first round matchup.

The US will be without big gun Andy Roddick, but firepower will be aplenty in Fribourg courtesy of Mardy Fish and John Isner.

Still, odds are heavily against the US making any real impression on Federer and Stan Wawrinka on the indoor red clay. Maybe Fish gets a win against Wawrinka and they scrape a doubles win, though without Bob Bryan it’s really an uphill battle on the gold medal team Saturday.

“It’s just another tie for me,” Federer said to daviscup.com. “It doesn’t matter when and where it is, it’s all a matter of priorities. My team is a group of great friends, that’s what I enjoy about it, that I can spend some time with them, and hopefully try to win but if we don’t it doesn’t matter. It’s about trying your best and having a good time.”

Somehow the US has to get to a live fifth with Wawrinka-Isner, otherwise I can’t work a scenario with the Americans getting out of Switzerland with a win, especially with a healthy, motivated Federer.

“He has been the second best clay court player in awhile for sure, for a bunch of years he has been head and shoulders the second best player behind Rafa and has beaten him on clay,” Fish said of Federer. “Clay is obviously one of his strengths. He is obviously tough. This surface, this altitude and these balls will certainly play a little faster and hopefully help us. He is tough but he has got his work cut out for him in the first match and as do I. It is a long way from Sunday.”

With the way the draw came out there’s a good chance Sunday may never happen.

Tennis Channel has live coverage of the tie starting at 7am Friday ET.

USA v. Switzerland Schedule
Friday, 1 p.m.
Singles A: Mardy Fish (U.S. No. 1) vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI No. 2)
Singles B: John Isner (U.S. No. 2) vs. Roger Federer (SUI No. 1)

Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Doubles: Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison (USA) vs. Federer/Wawrinka (SUI)

Sunday, 12 p.m.
Singles C: Fish (U.S.) vs. Federer (SUI)
Singles D: Isner (U.S.) vs. Wawrinka (SUI)

In the other ties, without Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, Spain should still sneak by a tough, visiting Kazakhstan team. Russia should get a tight win in Austria. In a big home tie for Canada, Milos Raonic won’t be able to fend off the deeper French team. And the Czech Republic (Italy), Serbia (no Novak Djokovic, no Robin Soderling), Croatia (Japan) and Argentine should also get victories this weekend.


Also Check Out:
2014 Davis Cup Draw: USA Hosts Britain, Spain Travels To Germany; Early Predictions
Federer Practices With Wawrinka For Davis Cup, And A Happy Fan Gets A Selfie With Roger [Video]
Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams Among Players At Opening Of Madrid Masters [Video]
Furious Roddick Gets Rocked by Igor
Can Davydenko Return the Davis Cup to Russia?

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66 Comments for Federer Stars This Weekend As Davis Cup Begins

Humble Rafa Says:

Even if everything goes according to plan for the US, Isner will make sure he chokes the 5th. I have THAT feeling.


RZ Says:

Humble Rafa, Fed may choke against a few players, but Isner isn’t one of them!


PJ Says:

I think Humble Rafa means if it comes down to Wawrinka/Isner, Isner will choke in the 5th.


Angel Says:

Switzerland will win this one easily.


RZ Says:

PJ, ah, I see! Makes more sense. Thanks.


Kimberly Says:

See I think a Swiss sweep is quite possible. I wouldn’t bet my lunch money on fish beating wawa on clay. Also if I recall fed and wawa did win a gold so the us will likely lose the doubles point as well. Feds two wins are pretty much a given in singles over these two on clay,


Eric Says:

Unless Wawa plays terribly, the US is unlikely to get a win.


Ajet Says:

margot:

that was very very sweet interview of the murrays. i would definitely want them to be a lot lot more successful than they’re right now.

Three Cheers for Andy, Jamie and Judy!!! :) :) :)


alison hodge Says:

margot yeah lovely interview,i can imagine the uproar and euphoria if andy were to win wimbledon this year,this forum would go into melt down,i am feeling so positve for him this year,a great time to be a murray fan,and a great win for anne keothavong the other day against cibulkova a top 20 player,ajets right three cheers for,andy,jamie and judy,and three cheers for anne and our girls,elena,laura and heather,go girls,go boys,and go the brits.


Polo Says:

Wawrinka will probably lose both of his singles matches. Federer is likely to win both of his. The doubles is a toss-up. Why did Switzerland choose clay? Federer can handle clay and hardcourt. Wawrinka is better on hardcourts. They should have chosen a surface that would favor Wawrinka over the US players. Wawrinka is the weak link here.


Humble Rafa Says:

They should have chosen a surface that would favor Wawrinka over the US players.

The Arrogant One gets his wish. Little boy Wawrinkra just carries drinks. Wanted to get that out of the way.


dari Says:

Wawrinka used to say clay was his best surface and in general the pervading thought is Amercans don’t do clay.
Makes sense to me. But the bounces seem to be throwing off the players timing. Mis-hits abound!

Down to the fifth like so many D Cup matches… Could not predict between these two
I’ll go with Mardy


rogerafa Says:

@ Humble Rafa

Wawrinka’s best results are on clay. His only win over the Arrogant One is on clay. It is probably due to Wawrinka’s relative strength on clay(and USA’s weakness on it) that they chose that surface. The Arrogant One loves indoor hard courts.
On the other hand, when was the last time your humble highness played a Davis cup tie on a non-clay surface against any decent opposition? You let your teammates down badly whenever any challenging non-clay away tie came along. You have much to be humble about in this matter.


Dave Says:

“Federer can handle clay and hardcourt. Wawrinka is better on hardcourts. They should have chosen a surface that would favor Wawrinka over the US players. Wawrinka is the weak link here.”

Wawrinka’s best surface is clay, whether over his career or over the last year. He has his best winning percentage and won more titles on clay, despite playing less clay matches. They obviously would have wanted to choose the type of clay surface that best favors Wawrinka. Whether the court was laid properly to Stan’s specifications is another issue. Also another issue is whether Wawrinka — who lost on his worst surface (grass) to Tomic in Australia then upset Hewitt (who has won more grass court matches than Pete Sampras) — is going to be a source of more drama over the next few days. Assuming the Swiss really want to win and keep playing more Davis Cup ties this year, of course.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Stanislas-Wawrinka.aspx?t=mr

By this weekend Federer would probably equal or pass David Nalbandian in number of Davis Cup matches played, despite Argentina going deeper and playing more ties. I think Federer has played only one less tie than Nalbandian.


Dave Says:

Federer has played in 21 (75%) of Switzerland’s 28 DC ties since his first tie in 1999 — that’s 55 or 56 matches. Nadal has played in ONLY 14 (58%) of Spain’s 25 ties since his first tie in 2004 — that’s only 27 matches. Federer has played 4 or 5 away ties outside Europe, including two in faraway Australia — but Nadal has never played in any of Spain’s away ties outside Europe, not even for a Davis Cup final in Argentina in 2008 or against the USA last July. And it’s possible Nadal has permanently retired from Davis Cup or will play very few ties in future.

Even more impressive is that by September 2006 when Federer was 25 years, 1 month), Roger had already played in 15 (88%) of Switzerland’s 17 ties between 1999 to 2006! Even the highly nationalistic Djokovic (only 3 months younger today) has played in 17 (81%) of Serbia’s 21 ties. At that age in July 2011, Nadal had played in only 12 (52%) of Spain’s 23 tie. Murray in 11 (69%) of 16 ties.

Pete Sampras played only only 28 Davis Cup matches (16 ties), Andre Agassi played 36 matches (22 ties), Jimmy Connors 13 matches (7 ties). MIchael Chang 12 matches (6 ties), Jim Courier 27 matches (14 ties), Patrick McEnroe 4 matches (4 ties), Andy Roddick 45 matches (25 ties), John McEnroe 69 matches (30 ties). Only John McEnroe — who played his final Davis Cup match just before his 34th birthday — has put more effort into Davis Cup than Federer.


Polo Says:

Ok, Dave. I was wrong then.


Humble Rafa Says:

Is it true that Fish could not enter the locker room after the Wawrinka match because his head was so big. Heard a rumor, that’s all.


van orten Says:

wow wawrinka played not really well..losing vs fish at home on clay…fed will win easily his 2 matches …will depend on doubles or on wawrinka …give the us team good chances after that very important first win


jane Says:

A lot will depend on the doubles in this tie, methinks. Isner could win the last match versus Stan (holds a slight edge in the H2H). Fed and Wawa should take the doubles as I notice the Bryans aren’t playing together (is one of them injured or?) but it’s Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison. I think Fed wins both his singles.


Kimberly Says:

Bob Bryans wife just had a baby so he did not come


van orten Says:

wow didnt know that with the bryans…that changes a lot..and it is on clay in the end..so tomorrow will be important


jane Says:

Oh, thanks for clarifying Kimberly; I think I did read/see that somewhere but just forgot.


margot Says:

Ajet and alison: cheers :) It’s gr8 to have such positive posters on here.
alison: Judy is doing a splendid job with the Fed. Team. I think she must be very inspirational. And Dan Evans just beat Lacko….WTF? But gr8 for him and team!


jane Says:

margot, it is a lovely interview. The picture of the two boys looking down on mum is sweet. Two things: 1) No, Andy doesn’t look like Napoleon Dynamite, and 2) what’s “the St Bernard’s Waltz?”


jane Says:

Oops, Fed’s going to have to win in 5 sets. Come to think of it, Nole had a helluva match versus Isner on clay during one DC tie, and Isner pushed Rafa to the brink at the FO. Maybe clay is actually his better surface?? Just a thought.


alison hodge Says:

your welcome margot,and delighted about that win for our dan over lacko,even though i do like lacko,wow great week for the brits,just love it when the underdogs become giant killers.


Humble Rafa Says:

Oops, Fed’s going to have to win in 5 sets.

Or lose in 4. He just lost serve.


alison hodge Says:

jane ooh dont remind me that 1st round match,of rafas against isner at the fo last year,it still gives me nightmares even to this day lol,isner is a very dangerous player and i agree,clay is probably his best surface,as he does seem to push the very best players,not a player you want in your favourites half of the draw,but a great player to have in the usa dc team.


Humble Rafa Says:

Arroturds are going to have a heart attack on this one.


jane Says:

I saw that HR, and the game before that he had 2 or 3 break chances. He’s got to convert one of those. I thought he’d win the third set tie break, too, when he got the mini break back and got to 3-4 on his serve, but it was not to be.

Of course Isner pushed even you, HR, at FO, and Isner got to the finals in Belgrade on clay in 2010 (that 5 set DC tie versus Nole was the same year).

The Swiss will have a difficult time winning this now, but it’s not impossible; it could come down to the last match: Isner/Wawa.


van orten Says:

fed had his chances but wow isner served and played very very good…it s only over when its over though so nothing lost yet


Humble Rafa Says:

I guarantee this will The Arrogant One in the trunk next week. :)


jane Says:

Fernando Gonzalez has retired; I wish him the best:

http://sports.yahoo.com/tennis/news?slug=ycn-10950082


jane Says:

^ Sorry that should say he’s announced his retirement but he is playing the spring hard court masters events by the sounds of it.


dari Says:

This is the only time I can cheer after a fed loss!
Go USA! nobody gave them a chance and they’be come out blazing!
Will watch the match later on dvr, but heard isner played great!

The only bummer is that Suisse fought hard down in Australia to get back to world group and if they lose this first round its kind of a pity.

Oh well, go USA!


RZ Says:

Humble Rafa – not so fast! The Swiss could still pull this off. (But if they don’t, yes, I’m sure he’ll be in the trunk).


tennisfan Says:

What a shame today it was for the Federer camp? More disappointing was the way he gave up during the match…Just can’t understand why doesn’t he fight more in a match like Nole/Nadal. Is it the beginning of the end?
Federer- Low on Mental Toughness? http://bit.ly/w1rvpN


alison hodge Says:

yeah i must admit i did not see that one coming,after roger won that 1st set i thought isner was there for the taking,and that roger would pull it off in straight sets,still credit to isner sounds like he played really well,it will be tough for the swiss team now,but if anyone can pull this off they can,they have good quality players in there team,and the best player ever,so alls not lost yet,a rather sad day for the fed faithfull though.


alison hodge Says:

i have only been posting on this forum for a few months,but one phrase really does anoy me and thats the word tard,fedtard,djokotard,rafatard,arrowtard,whatever it anoys the bloody life out of me,each and everytime i hear it,by way of calling these players retards,and its disrespectful,and its disrespectfull to people who are born with a disability that they cannot do anything about,sadly people will just carry on regardless though however.


Polo Says:

alison hodge, I too find it annoying that a lot of posters here resort to name calling and use very derogatory terms. However, there are also decent posters who are respectful of all players regardless of their preferences. These are the ones who are very knowledgeable about the game and do not resort to the use of foul terms. They are the ones who should be paid attention to. Those who resort to trashy language should be treated accordingly.


mat4 Says:

First, the columns: the first is the rating, the 2nd and 3rd are the the confidence interval, 4th is the number of matches, 5th percentage, last one is the rating average of the opponents.

I didn’t use a different coefficient for the GS, nor did I made different ratings for different surfaces. The bases used were the ATP matches from 2011 and the beginning of 2011, without the qualifications, the challengers and futures.

I also didn’t gauge the ratings. The average of the players is kept at 2400. It could be to high.

The results seem OK, except that in chess you play round robin or swiss, so the match-ups are not so relevant, and the draw therefore is not crucial.

Finally, those results were calculated with Elo Stat, a tool of Arena.

1 Novak Djokovic : 3014 127 149 81 93.8% 2541
2 Roger Federer : 2823 112 100 81 84.0% 2535
3 Rafael Nadal : 2791 101 92 88 81.8% 2530
4 Andy Murray : 2753 109 99 76 81.6% 2494
5 Robin Soderling: 2706 141 126 43 79.1% 2476
6 David Ferrer : 2680 92 86 83 75.9% 2481
7 J-W Tsonga : 2641 86 81 86 72.1% 2476
8 Tomas Berdych : 2633 87 83 79 69.6% 2489
9 JM Del Potro : 2619 99 92 69 73.9% 2438
10 Mardy Fish : 2598 92 88 66 65.2% 2489
11 R. Gasquet : 2579 99 94 58 65.5% 2467
12 Andy Roddick : 2572 110 104 49 67.3% 2446
13 Gael Monfils : 2563 99 94 62 69.4% 2421
14 J Tipsarevic : 2561 85 81 80 67.5% 2434
15 N Almagro : 2541 85 82 78 66.7% 2421
16 Marin Cilic : 2541 94 91 62 64.5% 2437
17 F Lopez : 2536 87 86 66 57.6% 2483
18 D Nalbandian : 2535 128 123 34 61.8% 2452
19 John Isner : 2525 98 94 57 63.2% 2432
20 Milos Raonic : 2522 99 95 57 64.9% 2415
21 S Wawrinka : 2512 98 95 56 62.5% 2424
22 Gilles Simon : 2512 87 85 69 60.9% 2435
23 Viktor Troicki: 2508 88 87 65 58.5% 2448
24 Florian Mayer : 2506 89 86 67 62.7% 2416
25 F Verdasco : 2495 91 89 62 58.1% 2439
26 Bernard Tomic : 2492 120 117 36 55.6% 2453
27 J C Ferrero : 2486 129 124 33 60.6% 2411
28 Ivan Ljubicic : 2483 106 104 45 55.6% 2445
29 Kei Nishikori : 2482 93 90 61 60.7% 2407
30 K Anderson : 2475 85 83 73 63.0% 2383
31 A Dolgopolov : 2468 82 80 75 58.7% 2408
32 Juan Monaco : 2466 99 99 50 52.0% 2452
33 R Stepanek : 2463 91 90 60 55.0% 2429
34 M Baghdatis : 2459 89 88 62 51.6% 2447
35 P Kohlschreib : 2453 94 92 58 58.6% 2392
36 M Youzhny : 2444 99 99 50 52.0% 2430
37 N Davydenko : 2442 97 97 52 48.1% 2456
38 James Blake : 2442 122 121 34 52.9% 2421
39 M Llodra : 2435 110 111 41 46.3% 2461
40 M Granollers : 2434 98 97 52 53.8% 2407
41 Ivan Dodig : 2425 96 96 53 50.9% 2419
42 A Bogomolov Jr: 2424 97 95 54 57.4% 2372
43 Lleyton Hewitt: 2421 155 155 22 50.0% 2421
44 Tommy Robredo : 2418 129 124 33 60.6% 2344
45 Ivo Karlovic : 2414 110 111 41 46.3% 2440
46 Gilles Muller : 2406 133 132 29 51.7% 2394
47 Jul Benneteau : 2405 98 98 51 52.9% 2384
48 Jark Nieminen : 2403 96 96 53 49.1% 2409
49 Andreas Seppi : 2398 95 95 54 50.0% 2398
50 Xav Malisse : 2398 98 98 51 47.1% 2418


jane Says:

Gosh mat4, looks complicated, but thank you for doing that!


mat4 Says:

@jane:

It just looks complicated. The “confidence interval” is related with the number of matches: more matches, and the interval is smaller. With only 80 matches and a high %, you could have 127 points less or 140 more. The rating is just an average.

I thought not to post it, to post only the rating. But the other data could be interesting.


jane Says:

mat4, It seems like it matches pretty closely with the regular rolling rankings, for e.g., top ten players. So with this in mind would it change Nole’s status on that other chart you posted, the other day? The one that had Sampras, Borg, etc?


mat4 Says:

@jane:

The other list is an excerpt. If I understood well, the author took a huge commercial base with all the ATP matches of the open era and calculated the rating chances every three months. That’s why he added a date after the rating: it is the date when the highest rating was obtained.

The list was probably continuous, so it allowed him to compare the relative level of the players of the open era, the degree they dominate the field when they peaked.

Usually, when the field is deeper, there is an inflation of the rating points of 40 points in ten years, but I am not sure if there was an inflation in his list.

However we gauge it, the difference between Djokovic and the second, third in the list is more than 200 points, and it is huge. If I could compare with september 2006, when Roger peaked, and see the difference with the others, I could be certain if his last season was the most dominant ever. But it is certainly among the top 2,3.


mat4 Says:

What looks strange is that Roger is in front of Rafa. The ratings I posted are for 2011 and 2012.

But it shows how much the draw impacts the results in tennis.


jane Says:

mat4, what do you mean by this: “But it shows how much the draw impacts the results in tennis.” Sorry, math is not my forte. Do you mean the tougher the draw the better the ELO results? Or the easier the draw…the higher the rankings? Or both?


Wog boy Says:

” to be in the trunk?”

What is the meaning, is it American slang?
Is it stupid question ?


jane Says:

Wog Boy, if you go to the Tennis X home page (not the blog) of to the left side there is a section called “Who’s got the Funk?” (Funk being good) and “Who’s in the Trunk?” (Trunk being bad). :)


mat4 Says:

I meant both, of course.

You know that I think that draw in the slams (and most probably in the MS) is fixed: what if Rafa fell in Novak’s half a bit more often in the last few years, and Roger played a bit more Andy in the semis…


Wog boy Says:

I see, thanks Jane. I am reading blog all the time. I knew I was missing something :-)


margot Says:

Humbled Rafa: not always right, time to change stuck record.
Wog boy: Funk and trunk are incomprehensible to me too :) In UK meaning of “funk” is bad.
Alison: totally agree re constant “tard” comments but many gr8 posters too. :)


alison hodge Says:

rep polo feb 10th 5.16pm your quite right,i know i will take your post on board and try to ignore the haters,ditto margot thanks guys.


margot Says:

Headline looks a bit sad now :(


nadalista Says:

now I wish Fed hadn’t done that, lose dismally I mean. This blog is so much fan when he’s winning, the irrational exuberance an’ all.

Never mind, there’s always the “Nadal skit” thread to salve open wounds……………am off to that meself………..hehehe


vox777 Says:

@Mat4: THANKS!!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Mat4,

Great stuff. I love how you weighted in the strength of the opponet, that should be rewarded ;). Send it to the ATP!


mat4 Says:

skeezer:

I didn’t do anything subjective. It is the way results are weighted in chess. But in chess, the best players of the world usually play round robin, so the match-ups, the draw don’t weight in the results.

Let’s remake last year, without changing the results of matches: at the AO, imagine Novak landed in Rafa’s half. Roger would have played the final. The same thing could have happen in Indian Wells. A few different draws, and Rafa could have lost his ranking before the AO, and then have Novak again in his half. In such a hypothetical case, Roger could have won the FO.

Chess ratings are a statistical tool: the player with a better winning percentage and better opponents is better ranked. Just as simple as that.

Those ratings also shows that Roger is not far from his best level (2890), although the calculation was done in a different way, but it also emphasises the quality of Novak’s wins in 2011.


skeezerweezer Says:

Mat

Do the math on this ;)

As related to our discussion, if you played someone in the top 10 and won, you would get more points than if you beat someone #321. I was wondering the effect on this on a tournament, not league play. One still has to go through the draw to win the tournament, thus getting the most points. However, during that run, if he/she had to play through some highly ranked players by very early on, he/she would get “bonus” points?

Ok, j/k kidding on the math. Just a wild idea, but fun , no?


skeezerweezer Says:

^Errr sorry mat4 left out the important “4″


mat4 Says:

Skeezer:

Yes, of course. Those are not bonus points, in fact: the number of points you get is in direct relation with the strength of your opposition. But it is not only the matter with the point you win, but also the points you lose. You got more points winning against better players, but you lose more points losing against lower ranked players.

A table like this shows, for those who know how to read, that despite playing Djokovic 7 times, Federer 4 times and Murray 5 times, Rafa’s draws were easier than Roger’s.


skeezerweezer Says:

mat4,

It was just my way of understanding it. But looks good, you’d have my vote.


mat4 Says:

The average draw until the semi was of 2448 for Rafa, and of 2487 for Roger. On paper, of course, it was different, but Roger’s opponents played better in 2011 in general.


mat4 Says:

The good side of such a rating system is that he immediately shows how relevant was the element of “luck” associated with draws and match-ups.

It also reveals the incredible regularity of the top players. I was surprised by Soderling’s result. But when I checked on the site of the ATP, he had better results than I thought, and the players he lost were all well ranked.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

Finally, the “4″ in mat4 is not important. The first time I posted I just wanted to write my first name, but my son, who was near, typed the “4″ and I just left it.

Top story: US Open: Roger Federer Has To Like His Draw, Djokovic And Murray Probably Won't!
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Rankings
ATP - Aug 18 WTA - Aug 18
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
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