Roger Federer will try to return Switzerland to the Davis Cup finals for the first time since 1992 this weekend when his country hosts Italy. Federer, who has never won a Davis Cup title in his career, is eager for the opportunity.
“As a team, we haven’t had much success over the past 50 years, so people in Switzerland still talk about 20 years ago when we made the finals,” Federer said. “Hopefully they’ll talk about this tie in 20 years, that would be wonderful – this is the dream for us, the players.”
Federer will be joined by Stan Wawrinka. Italy will rely on Simone Bolleli and Fabio Fognini.
In the other semifinal, France will host the Czech Republic at Roland Garros. France will turn to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet. Tomas Berdych and Lukos Rosol will lead the Czechs.
“A few things are different being here at this time but they remind you of all those situations that you go through at Roland Garros,” said Berdych. “It’s a beautiful experience and we can enjoy the whole set-up we have here. The venue is great for that – everything is close and very convenient, everything works, everything is used to being prepared and used to be here so it’s a great place. It is definitely the best place I’ve played away from home.”
FRANCE v CZECH REPUBLIC
Head-to-head: tied 7-7
The 2 teams have met 4 times since the introduction of the World Group, including most recently in 2009. The hosting nation has won this encounter in the last 5 ties. The last time a visiting nation won this tie was in 1979 when the Czechs defeated France at Roland Garros.
Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Julien Benneteau/Gael Monfils (FRA) v Radek Stepanek/Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Jo-WilfriedTsonga (FRA) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
FRANCE is bidding to reach the Davis Cup final for the first time since 2010.
France has advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2011 after defeating Australia 5-0 in La Roche sur Yon and recovering from 0-2 down to defeat Germany in the quarterfinals in Nancy. It was the first comeback from 0-2 down in the World Group since Sweden achieved the feat against Slovak Republic in 1998.
France is contesting its 3rd consecutive home tie. France has won 7 of its last 8 home ties in the competition, with its only defeat in that time coming against USA in the 2012 World Group quarterfinals in Monte Carlo.
Last year, France defeated Israel 5-0 in the first round in Rouen before losing to Argentina 3-2 in the quarterfinals in Buenos Aires.
Two-time defending champion CZECH REPUBLIC is bidding to become the first nation to reach 3 consecutive Davis Cup finals since Australia in 1999-2001.
Czech Republic is bidding to become just the 2nd nation in World Group history to reach the final after winning back-to-back titles. Sweden is the only nation in World Group history to reach the final after winning back-to-back titles; winning in 1984-85 before losing 3-2 to Australia in 1986.
Czech Republic is looking to advance to its 6th Davis Cup final overall. As well as reaching the 2009, 2012 and 2013 finals, the Czechs also reached the final as Czechoslovakia in 1975 and 1980.
Czech Republic is also looking to increase its nation record-winning streak to 12 straight ties and take sole occupancy of 3rd place behind USA (17) and Algeria (14) for the most consecutive Davis Cup tie wins. The last time Czech Republic lost a Davis Cup tie was a 3-2 defeat to Kazakhstan in the first round in 2011.
SWITZERLAND v ITALY
Head-to-head: Italy leads 3-2
While Italy won each of the first 3 meetings between these 2 nations, Italy and Switzerland have met twice since the introduction of the World Group and the latter has won both – in 1999 and 2009. Roger Federer proved a key influence in both of those ties with 3 singles rubber wins overall. Italy has never defeated Switzerland on away soil.
Roger Federer (SUI) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Paolo Lorenzi/Andreas Seppi (ITA)
Roger Federer (SUI) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)
SWITZERLAND is bidding to reach the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1992.
Switzerland’s best Davis Cup result came in 1992 when it reached the final, losing to a strong USA team comprising Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and John McEnroe.
Switzerland defeated Serbia 3-2 in Novi Sad and Kazakhstan 3-2 in Geneva to progress to the semifinals for the first time since 2003. That year it defeated Netherlands and France before losing to Australia in the last 4.
Switzerland is contesting the World Group for the third consecutive year. Last year, Switzerland lost in the first round to eventual champion Czech Republic 3-2 in Geneva. In the doubles rubber, Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol won the longest match in Davis Cup history in terms of duration after defeating Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli in 7 hours 1 minute. Switzerland then maintained its spot in the World Group after defeating Ecuador 4-1 in the World Group play-offs.
ITALY is bidding to reach the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1998.
Italy defeated Argentina 3-1 in Mar del Plata and Great Britain 3-2 in Naples to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1998. That year it defeated India, Zimbabwe and USA en route to finishing runner-up to Sweden.
Italy is appearing in a World Group tie for just the sixth time since 2000. Its first round win over Argentina this year was its first World Group victory on away soil since defeating USA 4-1 in the World Group semifinals in 1998.
Last year, Italy reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 1998. It defeated Croatia 3-2 in the first round before losing 3-1 to Canada.
WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS
In the world group playoffs – winning teams get promoted to the 2015 World Group, losing teams stay in relegations, the follow ties are lined up:
India (c) v Serbia (s) KSLTA Tennis Stadium, Bangalore, India (hard – outdoors)
Brazil (c) v Spain (s) Ginásio Estadual Geraldo José de Almeida, São Paulo, Brazil (clay – indoors) (Bellucci)
Argentina (s) v Israel (c) Sunrise Tennis Club, Sunrise, FL, USA (hard – outdoors)
Canada (s) (c) v Colombia Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Canada (hard – indoors) (Raonic, Pospisil)
USA (s) (c) v Slovakia Sears Centre Arena, Chicago, USA (hard – indoors) (Isner, Querrey, Klizan)
Australia (s) (c) v Uzbekistan Cottesloe Tennis Club, Perth, Australia (grass – outdoors) (Hewitt, Kyrgios)
Croatia (s) v Netherlands (c) Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands (clay – indoors) (Coric, Cilic – Doubles)
Belgium (s) v Ukraine (c) Tere Tennis Centre, Tallinn, Estonia (hard – indoors)
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