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.
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