2013 Davis Cup Draw: Raonic, Canada Host Spain In Opener; Czechs Visit Switzerland
by Sean Randall | September 19th, 2012, 12:03 pm
  • 19 Comments

We’ve been waiting for Milos Raonic’s big breakthrough. It hasn’t come in Grand Slam play, yet, but early next year he’ll have his chance to emerge on the Davis Cup stage. That’s because his Canadian team will host the mighty Spaniards in first round play the weekend after the Australian Open. With Rafael Nadal questionable, on an indoor fast court Raonic should be able to hold his own against Spain’s second tier. And if Daniel Nestor can steal a doubles point, then who knows.

Other interesting matchups from the draw released earlier today include a trip to Switzerland for the 2012 finalist Czech Republic team. Will Roger Federer play or won’t he? He played this past weekend sending Switzerland back into the World Group main draw but with the timing of the first round so close after the Australian Open it’s too far out to know if the he’ll make himself available again. And what surface will Switzerland chose, clay again?

Team USA will host Brazil in very favorable matchup for the Americans. Italy hosting the Croats appears to be another good tie with workhorse Marin Cilic against the likes of Fognini, Seppi, etc, on the red clay.

In the quarterfinals, it looks like Spain will go to Italy, Serbia and Novak Djokovic to the US. In the bottom half France will be on that long, treacherous road to Argentina and if Federer plays in February, I think Switzerland will then host Austria in April.

Looking further ahead, I think it’s Spain at Serbia in the semifinals and then Argentina hosting Switzerland. A lot depends on Federer and I don’t think he’ll commit to both early season Davis Cup ties. And how much Novak plays will determine Serbia’s chances – imagine a healthy Djokovic and Nadal squaring off in Belgrade next September!

In the end, it looks like Spain goes down to Argentina to win yet another Cup. Ho hum. Spain just has so much depth as we saw this past weekend and with the Argentines almost always a question mark with the fragile health of its stars Juan Martin Del Potro and David Nalbandian, it’s hard not to pick Spain, regardless of surface or site. But Mr. Raonic will have first crack to prove me wrong.

As for Federer, he’s won just about everything except the Davis Cup, which rivals Nadal and Djokovic both have. Can he finally win it in 2013? Is there a “run” to be had in the draw for Roger? Maybe, maybe not.

Even though they host the Czechs, I think it’s a manageable first two rounds for the Swiss. So Roger could get his team to the semifinals, but then the going gets really rough. Travelling all the way to Argentina right after the US Open to play Del Potro, Monaco and Nalbandian is no day at the beach for a then 32-year-old who’ll have to play all three rubbers on red clay. And if they manage the upset in the quarterfinals, France, because of their depth, will prove just as great a hurdle.

However both are winnable if Federer/Wawrinka are healthy, motivated and play like they can.

Then in the final Team Federer would host Spain, if it came to be. Federer v. Nadal for the Davis Cup title? Unlikely, but… Obviously there are a lot of variables here, especially the play of Wawrinka who isn’t getting any younger either, but for Federer this is probably his last chance at Davis Cup glory.

2013 Davis Cup Draw
Canada [c] v Spain [s]
Italy [c] v Croatia [s]
Belgium [c] v Serbia [s]
USA [s] [c] v Brazil

France [s] [c] v Israel
Argentina [s] [c] v Germany
Kazakhstan [s] [c] [*] v Austria
Switzerland [c] v Czech Republic [s]


Also Check Out:
2012 Davis Cup Draw: US Travels to Switzerland, Spain the Favorites Again?
Federer v Nadal in 1st Rd of 2010 Davis Cup
Davis Cup Wrap: U.S. Sputtering, Swiss Fail, Kazakh Win$
2014 Davis Cup Draw: USA Hosts Britain, Spain Travels To Germany; Early Predictions
Spain, Stepanek-led Czech Republic Advance to 2009 Davis Cup Final

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19 Comments for 2013 Davis Cup Draw: Raonic, Canada Host Spain In Opener; Czechs Visit Switzerland

Fot Says:

Davis Cup is unrealistic for Roger and the Swiss team, until they really get a reliable DOUBLE’S team that does not include Roger and/or Stan. For them to have to depend on Roger and Stan to win all points for the team is unrealistic.

Spain, Czech, Argentina, France, Serbia…all these countries have more that 2 players to rely upon, whereas Switzerland only has – ONE realiable one (Roger), and a sometimes 2nd man (Stan) to bring them through.

If Roger doesn’t play EVERY tie for the Swiss, and win just about EVERY match – they have no chance as they have no depth. So I wish people would stop trying to get on Roger for Swiss not winning the Davis Cup. It’s a TEAM competition – not an individual one. And the Swiss team is on shaky grounds compared to the other power house Davis Cup teams.

You are talking about round after round of Davis Cup play (usually right after a major slam) – and then best of 5 format over a 3-day weekend…round after round… for Roger and Stan to play all the matches….it’s almost impossible.

Personally for me – at this stage of Roger’s career, I hope he continues to prep for the major tournaments first. I want to see him play as long as he can, and to stay as healthy as he can because when he ‘hangs em up’…it’ll be a sad day in tennis for me. His legacy is made – whether the Swiss has a Davis Cup or not. Heck, ask regular fans and they couldn’t even remember who won Davis Cup last year!!! lol! Not winning Davis Cup doesn’t put a damper on Roger’s career in my book.


Brando Says:

Fed winning davis cup? Not a hater, but i must say no.

It doesn’t matter much for him either though. The man has so much already in his trophy cabinet that i think he can- just maybe- survive without a DC medal in his cabinet.

Ultimately, DC is a team/ national type of event and the swiss team just hasn’t been strong enough to pull through.

I would like Argentina to win it next year though- so they are my pick for the event!


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Raonic is simply not living up to expectations. So many times he has failed to come up with the goods. I don’t think he is a threat at all, he is not much better than Karlovic. All serve and no game. OK, he could cause an upset with his serve if he manages to serve well consistently in a best of 5 sets, but that rarely happens.

I don’t think Switzerland has any chance of beating the Czechs, with or without Federer.


Gregoire Gentil Says:

Presenting Sean Randall, new author of science fiction novels!!!


Jack Lewis Says:

>>Raonic is simply not living up to expectations
Depends who’s expectations you are talking about…
Raonic is still the youngest guy with the highest ranking at this point, he still has plenty of things to improve and at 21 plenty of time to do so.


jane Says:

Pospisl has done well in DC play in the past. So maybe he’ll be a good addition to the team. And then there’s Dancevic, who has his days as well. With Raonic and Nestor, too, they could indeed have a fairly decent team. However, the Spainish team are DC stalwarts – almost always in the last rounds, every year, with or without Rafa – so imo it’s a very tough first round draw for Canada. Canada hosted France last year and did not do well; Raonic was a letdown in that tie. So in this case I don’t hold out too much hope for an upset.


M Says:

What city is the actual tie in, for Canada?


jane Says:

^ Not sure, M. Last time they held it in Vancouver. Maybe next time Montreal or Toronto? That’d be my guess.


Dave Says:

The Canadian city to host the Spain-Canada tie will be determined later by a city bid process (according to Tennis Canada).

Canada will be the underdogs. In February, the current No. 5 ranked France beat Canada in Canada. The Canadian team of Raonic, Pospisil, Dancevic and Nestor/Raonic lost 1-4 to Tsonga, Monfils, Benneteau and Benneteau/Llodra.

If France can beat Canada in Canada, then so too can No. 1 ranked Spain. It really does not matter whether Rafael Nadal plays or not. The reality is that Spain’s “second tier” team (without Nadal) have really been their “first tier” team that won most of their ties that enabled four Davis Cup finals in the last five years.

- Though Nadal will surely be back on tour by the 2013 Australian Open, it’s highly unlikely he will travel to Canada for an away Davis Cup tie on hard courts — unless Rafa decides to play the South American clay court swing (Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires or Acapulco) in February. Fact: since 2006, Nadal has played in just 38% (8) of Spain’s 21 Davis Cup ties – of those 8 ties, only 2 were away ties (to puffballs Belgium and Germany). Nadal skipped Davis Cup entirely in 2007, 2010 and 2012. In his career, Nadal missed every away tie outside Europe (2008 Argentina final, 2008 Peru, 2011 USA quarterfinal, 2007 USA quarterfinal).

- Since 2006, David Ferrer has been the backbone of the Spanish Davis Cup team, playing 16 of Spain’s 21 Davis Cup ties. Without Nadal Spain still won 10 of 13 ties (the only three Nadal-less ties Spain lost were away ties on hardcourt/carpet to 2010 France, 2007 USA and 2006 Belarus, so even having Nadal might not have changed the results).


Dave Says:

This link has a clip of Federer having a good time singing “We Are The Swiss”.
http://www.perfect-tennis.co.uk/federer-needs-holiday-davis-cup/


Dave Says:

Here is the Davis Cup draw.
http://www.daviscup.com/media/130091/130091.pdf

As Fot correctly noted, Davis Cup is a team competition, not an individual competition. Thus Nadal and Djokovic really did not win Davis Cup by themselves – they contributed to their winning teams. The Davis Cup titles were won by their nations Spain and Serbia – as well as won by their team captains on behalf of their winning teams. At the history/records section of the Davis Cup website, only nations and team captains are recorded as having won titles – not players. Players played ties, won rubbers and were on a winning team – but did not win titles by themselves. Davis Cup is a team competition. Unfortunately, the Davis Cup website’s idiot hired writers sometimes muddle this distinction by sensationalizing that a star player won Davis Cup for his country.

As an ATP professional, Federer’s primary mission is to win big titles and achieve the highest ranking on the ATP Tour – not play Davis Cup. In any case, Federer and played more Davis Cup ties and played more rubbers (matches) than most of the great players in tennis history. Very few great players have played more Davis Cup than Federer. Even John McEnroe at age 31 (25 ties, 63 rubbers) is only slightly better than Federer (22 ties, 58 rubbers) playing under tougher conditions. As well, Federer’s Davis Cup record in his first nine years (age 17 in 1999 to age 26 in 2007) compares favorably with the first nine years of Nadal and Djokovic (both started in 2004) as well as the first eight years of Murray (since 2005).

In 2007, Czech Rep beat Switzerland 3-2: Federer won both singles matches, Wawrinka lost both singles matches in straight sets (Berdych, Stepanek), then the doubles team of Berdych-Stepanek beat Federer-Allegro in five sets. Czech Rep is a strong team partly because Radek Stepanek is an effective doubles player (ATP rank No 9) as well as singles player (ATP rank No. 40) with a DC win-loss of 24-12. The Berdych-Stepanek doubles team have a winning 11-1 record since 2007 (losing only once on clay in Spain).

Playing Davis Cup is like Russian roulette – even if Switzerland overcome Czech Rep in the first round and then Kazahkstan (probably) / Austria in the April quarterfinal, Switzerland are likely to get deeper teams in the latter rounds. In the September semifinal, Argentina or France likely awaits. The mid-November final will probably be against Spain (or Serbia or USA). [Btw, the Kazahkstan machine beat both Switzerland without Federer 5-0 (2010) and Czech Rep with Berdych 4-1 (2011) with their Russian imports of Kukushkin, Golubev, Korolev and Schukin].

If Switzerland has not won Davis Cup after 13 seasons of Federer playing, it is not going to happen. Wawrinka’s DC record (overall 17-20 win-loss) does not compare with the versatile Radek Stepanek (24-12). Wawrinka’s doubles record is only 2-9 (his two wins came from partnering Federer) and his singles record is only 15-11. Wawrinka-Federer now have a losing 2-3 record in Davis Cup doubles (they lost their last three Davis Cup doubles matches against Australia, USA and Netherlands). Partnering Wawrinka has worsened Federer’s doubles record from 9-5 to 11-8 (Federer played doubles in 19 of 22 ties). In other words, Federer-Wawrinka doubles is not a gimme even against Kazahkstan, much less the Czech Republic, Argentina/France or Spain. Federer cannot win Davis Cup by himself.

Federer played in all of Switzerland’s four Davis Cup ties in 2011 and 2012 – even though Roger played 76 matches in 2011 (same as Djokovic) and already 69 matches in 2012 (one of the most on tour). This included the long away tie in Australia (20,000 mile two-way trip) to play on grass last September which surely burned 10 to 12 days of Federer’ schedule and forced him to skip Shanghai. Meanwhile Nadal, Djokovic and Murray all skipped Davis Cup in 2012 to focus on the grand slams and rankings.

Federer has played enough Davis Cup. It’s time for him to retire from Davis Cup. He should focus his remaining years on the ATP Tour.

Davis Cup is not a priority for Federer. On Sunday, an interviewer sneakily twisted what Federer had earlier said about having respect for the history of the game (in the context of the beauty of the way he plays) to try to sucker him into stating that Davis Cup was high on his priorities: “on Friday you mentioned your respect for the history of game. What does that mean by the way Davis Cup is high on your list of priorities.” Federer corrected him: “Not really a whole lot, to be quite honest.” Federer said he plays Davis Cup only to take part with his teammates as he enjoys being with them, have a good time and they are his best friends.


Dave Says:

Here is the Davis Cup draw.
http://www.daviscup.com/media/130091/130091.pdf

As Fot correctly noted, Davis Cup is a team competition, not an individual competition. Thus Nadal and Djokovic really did not win Davis Cup by themselves – they contributed to their winning teams. The Davis Cup titles were won by their nations Spain and Serbia – as well as won by their team captains on behalf of their winning teams. At the history/records section of the Davis Cup website, only nations and team captains are recorded as having won titles – not players. Players played ties, won rubbers and were on a winning team – but did not win titles by themselves. Davis Cup is a team competition. Unfortunately, the Davis Cup website’s idiot hired writers sometimes muddle this distinction by sensationalizing that a star player won Davis Cup for his country.

As an ATP professional, Federer’s primary mission is to win big titles and achieve the highest ranking on the ATP Tour – not play Davis Cup. In any case, Federer and played more Davis Cup ties and played more rubbers (matches) than most of the great players in tennis history. Very few great players have played more Davis Cup than Federer. Even John McEnroe at age 31 (25 ties, 63 rubbers) is only slightly better than Federer (22 ties, 58 rubbers) playing under tougher conditions. As well, Federer’s Davis Cup record in his first nine years (age 17 in 1999 to age 26 in 2007) compares favorably with the first nine years of Nadal and Djokovic (both started in 2004) as well as the first eight years of Murray (since 2005).

In 2007, Czech Rep beat Switzerland 3-2: Federer won both singles matches, Wawrinka lost both singles matches in straight sets (Berdych, Stepanek), then the doubles team of Berdych-Stepanek beat Federer-Allegro in five sets. Czech Rep is a strong team partly because Radek Stepanek is an effective doubles player (ATP rank No 9) as well as singles player (ATP rank No. 40) with a DC win-loss of 24-12. The Berdych-Stepanek doubles team have a winning 11-1 record since 2007 (losing only once on clay in Spain).

Playing Davis Cup is like Russian roulette – even if Switzerland overcome Czech Rep in the first round and then Kazahkstan (probably) / Austria in the April quarterfinal, Switzerland are likely to get deeper teams in the latter rounds. In the September semifinal, Argentina or France likely awaits. The mid-November final will probably be against Spain (or Serbia or USA). [Btw, the Kazahkstan machine beat both Switzerland without Federer 5-0 (2010) and Czech Rep with Berdych 4-1 (2011) with their Russian imports of Kukushkin, Golubev, Korolev and Schukin].

If Switzerland has not won Davis Cup after 13 seasons of Federer playing, it is not going to happen. Wawrinka’s DC record (overall 17-20 win-loss) does not compare with the versatile Radek Stepanek (24-12). Wawrinka’s doubles record is only 2-9 (his two wins came from partnering Federer) and his singles record is only 15-11. Wawrinka-Federer now have a losing 2-3 record in Davis Cup doubles (they lost their last three Davis Cup doubles matches against Australia, USA and Netherlands). Partnering Wawrinka has worsened Federer’s doubles record from 9-5 to 11-8 (Federer played doubles in 19 of 22 ties). In other words, Federer-Wawrinka doubles is not a gimme even against Kazahkstan, much less the Czech Republic, Argentina/France or Spain. Federer cannot win Davis Cup by himself.

Federer played in all of Switzerland’s four Davis Cup ties in 2011 and 2012 – even though Roger played 76 matches in 2011 (same as Djokovic) and already 69 matches in 2012 (one of the most on tour). This included the long away tie in Australia (20,000 mile two-way trip) to play on grass last September which surely burned 10 to 12 days of Federer’ schedule and forced him to skip Shanghai. Meanwhile Nadal, Djokovic and Murray all skipped Davis Cup in 2012 to focus on the grand slams and rankings.

Federer has played enough Davis Cup. It’s time for him to retire from Davis Cup. He should focus his remaining years on the ATP Tour.

Davis Cup is not a priority for Federer. On Sunday, an interviewer sneakily twisted what Federer had earlier said about having respect for the history of the game (in the context of the beauty of the way he plays) to try to sucker him into stating that Davis Cup was high on his priorities: “on Friday you mentioned your respect for the history of game. What does that mean by the way Davis Cup is high on your list of priorities.” Federer corrected him: “Not really a whole lot, to be quite honest.” Federer said he plays Davis Cup only to take part with his teammates as he enjoys being with them, have a good time and they are his best friends.


grendel Says:

The author of Dave’s link says:” The text format reads as though he’s planning on taking the rest of the season off, whereas the audio, whilst it still makes it clear he needs a rest, doesn’t sound like he’s struggling too badly.”

That is exactly right. You can hear the smile in his voice. Ilene drew my attention to the audio broadcast, which also – as she pointed out – clarified Federer’s attitude to the Davis Cup. Of course, that is provisional. It all depends on the situation. b.t.w.it is true that Davis Cup is a collaboration, and Fot and Dave rightly emphasise this.(nice to hear from you again, Fot). Still, to be pedantic, a Davis Cup win – like an Olympic Gold medal which is accredited to the nation – is no doubt a nice thing for an individual to have on his CV.

Who, I wonder, is young William (on one of the video clips, playing with Federer). Some player. I’ve seen a lot of 8 year olds playing, and believe me, this William is something else!


grendel Says:

Oh, and nice link on football/pub style chanting. Federer has a future as impresario/showman if ever he wants it…


Colin Says:

“As well, Federer’s Davis Cup record in his first nine years (age 17 in 1999 to age 26 in 2007) compares favorably with the first nine years of Nadal and Djokovic (both started in 2004) as well as the first eight years of Murray (since 2005).”

Dave, am I misreading your posting, or are you speaking from the future via time machine?
2005 is eight years ago,and 2004 nine?


Dave Says:

Colin: Nadal and Djokovic both started playing Davis Cup in 2004 (that’s when they played their first tie). Add 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 = 9 years of DC eligibility for them
Murray played his first DC tie in March 2005, thus it’s 8 years of DC eligibility for him.

Partial comparison of Roger, Rafa, Novak, Andy’s Davis Cup record (first 9 years from first Davis Cup tie):

- Federer: 1999 to 2007 (age 17 to 26), 4.89 rubbers/matches per year (44 rubbers over 9 years; 16 ties; 9 seasons played DC)

- Nadal: 2004 to 2012 (age 17 to 26), 3 rubbers per year (27 rubbers over 9 years; 14 ties; 6 seasons played DC — missed in 2007, 2010, 2012)

- Djokovic: 2004 to 2012 (age 16 to 25), 3.33 rubbers per year (30 rubbers over 9 years; 17 ties; 8 seasons played DC — missed in 2012)

- Murray: 2005 to 2012 (age 17 to 25), 2.75 rubbers per year (22 rubbers over 8 years, 2005 to 2012; 11 ties; 7 seasons played DC — missed in 2010, 2012)


sienna Says:

Fed’s hounest view on DC is on par with how I have seen DC throughout his career.

Winning is nice but attending is nicer/ He does it out off willingness to belong to a team. He loves his teammates and wants to be with them.

Winning DC was never a priority. Of course when possible it would be fun to do with the team.

My view on DC is that it has become folklore. It is a possibility to bring out the orange and try to have a good time. When the team wins it is great because then we can have a party. If the team loses then well a pity and still enjoy the party.

Now after thie 2013 draw we can wait on Nadal to skip the first round.
I believe that he always skips the away ties! (except when it is closeby in a european country like Begium) Has he ever player away on a different continent like Asia, Austrlia? I believe he won DC 3 or 4 times and some are giving him praise for that. I know big Mac has the hots for his DC endeavor. I wonder of John is aware of the bad record Nadal has in turning up for away ties?

Rafa is not the backbone of the spanish site never was and never will be.

There is 1 reason for this. Rafa is not a leader even in the spanish site. He is a follower and feels very at ease playing that role. He could follow Roger for 4 1/2 years and never was in trouble. As soon as he was the #1 things started to go bad for him.

This is the main reason Rafa is not elected in the true champions inner circle. We need leaders in that circle and he has clearly shwon that he cannot perform as the leader of his tennis generation (even in his own country).


Maso Says:

I’ve lived in Switzerland for 6-7 years, Federer’s my favorite player but I think it is ridiculous to think of Switzerland winning the Davis Cup or asking such a thing of Roger. There aren’t enough players here with the level to make it happen. Roger and Stan are the only ones and Stan’s performances have been iffy since 2009. To be honest, even the Swiss aren’t asking this of Federer. Already more than happy enough with what he has achieved, thank you very much. Wouldn’t be surprised if his picture ends up on a Swiss Franc bill one day.


Dave Says:

Excerpts from Federer’s interview with French sports daily L’Equipe in mid-January 2010:

Q: “You withdrew from the Davis Cup 1st round. Is it because it’s against Spain, in Spain, and on clay?”
RF: “Not because it’s Spain. Just because it’s on clay. Between Dubai and Indian Wells, it just doesn’t fit. It saddens me, but I know why I took that decision.”

Q: “Some said it was self-centred and unpatriotic. People thought that after having beaten Sampras’ record you would be able to play the Davis Cup…”
RF: “People have to understand that it’s just not possible to do everything. Had I made another choice, maybe I wouldn’t have won RG last year. Do people prefer me to play the Davis Cup or to hold the GS record? Don’t Swiss people prefer having me as the world no1? If I play it and then it costs me in the rankings, people will always be there to tell me: ‘Ho, hum, you’re not no 1 anymore!’ ”

Q: “Is it really impossible to do both?”
RF: “I consider that a Davis Cup round amounts to take out one Masters 1000. And I’m not ready to do that. I still favour my individual choices; time will come when this changes. You also have to understand that I do not have a team as abundant as Rafa’s with Spain. I’m not complaining. It’s just a fact. Rafa hasn’t played the quarterfinals and the semifinals last year. But people saw him as the star in the finals. They just forgot he wasn’t there before.”
http://tinyurl.com/9b9l3hv

In other words, Federer said that for every Davis Cup tie he plays (especially because he may play the full three best-of-five-set rubbers on three consecutive days) the consequence is he has to remove a Masters 1000 event from his schedule. Federer skipped three Masters 1000 over the past year (2011 Shanghai, 2012 Monte Carlo, 2012 Toronto, sacrificing 3,000 points) even as he played four consecutive Davis Cup ties since July 2011.

Federer played 11 consecutive seasons of Davis Cup before finally skipping the 2010 season at age 29 (Federer had never missed a scheduled September tie until that year). Of the modern great players, only Stefan Edberg played more than 11 consecutive seasons (he did 13).

Federer had good reason for missing the 2010 September tie for the first time in his career: Federer needed a solid Fall 2010 to try to regain the No. 1 ranking; Davis Cup was partly to blame for his mediocre results in the 2009 and 2010 Fall seasons; and Switzerland (even without Federer) were expected to beat Kazahkstan. After all, Kazahkstan had been a puffball team in the past, stuck in the zonal groups since it first played in 1995 (even beaten by Taiwan in 2009). But Kazahkstan had completely transformed their team since 2009 — four Russian-born players given Kazahkstan citizenship replaced local-born talent and wer paid well to play as a unit in every Davis Cup tie (some players make more money playing DC than they would on the ATP tour). The Switzerland tie was the Kazahstan’s coming out party and its first ever playoff to get into the World Group for the first time in its history. The Russian imports of Kazakhstan hammered the Wawrinka-led Swiss 5-0 in Kazakhstan … and followed up a few months later by beating Berdych-led Czech Rep in the Czech Rep (Kazakhstan is currently ranked No. 8. among Davis Cup nations, losing only two away ties to Spain and Argentina).

Poor Federer was made the scapegoat for Switzerland’s humiliation and given a guilt trip by the Swiss Tennis Federation (see link) and the news media — even though Federer was not under contract to play Davis Cup for Switzerland (unlike Wawrinka, who is). It’s ludicrous that at his age Federer is made accountable for every Swiss defeat as if it’s Fed’s fault the Swiss have not won a Davis Cup (Switzerland have reached only one semifinal after 13 years of Federer playing and putting in more effort than Nadal, Djokovic, Sampras, Agassi, etc. have). Even now the Swiss press I read (e.g., Blick and Tages Anzeiger) were careful to omit that Federer said he was ‘wounded, tired and exhausted’ and they don’t interview Federer’s Davis Cup buddies on his contribution probably to keep the Swiss people from feeling sympathetic to his situation.
http://tinyurl.com/8l6xuqa

After the Kazahkstan loss, the Swiss Tennis Association president — whose job and organizational revenue are partly tied to Davis Cup — threatened to cut down the Swiss Davis Cup team and budget (“we cannot go on travelling with 17 people to a zonal group match. It’s not in proportion to the goal (to reach at least the semifinals of the World Group).”). In other words, the jobs of his buddies Severin Luthi, Wawrinka, Chiudinelli, Lammer on the Davis Cup squad were at risk and so were Federer’s long term plans for Swiss tennis. And so what did Federer do since the Kazahkstan loss? He bit his tongue and played all four consecutive ties for Switzerland. But how long can he keep on playing DAvis Cup as well as challenge the ATP tour against his top rivals — who are Davis Cup slackers?

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