After a quick opening day of singles, Switzerland and France are locked at 1-1 in the Davis Cup final on the red clay in Lille.
With France pretty set with Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet, it’s decision time for the Swiss and coach Severin Luthi in the doubles. The Swiss has designated Chiudenelli/Lammer for the rubber, but will Luthi stay with it knowing that Roger Federer, who didn’t look great today in a loss to Gael Monfils, would be then asked to save the tie against JW Tsonga on Sunday with no rest for his back?
To me, based on what I saw today with Federer’s hobbled back/movement, is Roger will have a better chance of winning a point in the doubles with Stan than against Tsonga in singles. So it’s a tradeoff, and who knows maybe if they win the doubles Federer wakes up Sunday feeling great and he can beat Tsonga.
Otherwise, without Federer/Wawrinka playing tomorrow, I don’t think the Swiss will win the doubles and they’ll go into Sunday with an ailing Federer down 2-1. And that’s a longshot from there.
Of course if Federer plays the doubles, further taxing his back, and the Swiss lose the match then the tie is all but over.
So let’s see what they (Federer) do. I don’t expect a decision until a few hours before the match. But if I was the coach, given how quickly the matches went today and if Federer was OK, then I would play Federer-Wawrinka to try to get that point and maybe sacrifice the Tsonga match if Roger’s in bad shape (play Lammer?).
Pros: Keeps Federer/Wawrinka fresh for Sunday
Cons: Almost certain defeat
Pros: Better chance at winning
Cons: Wawrinka fatigue on Sunday if match goes long
Pros: Best chance of winning assuming Federer somewhat healthy; Federer/Stan gets more clay practice
Cons: The gold medal winning team has lost their last 4 doubles matches in DC; if match goes long Federer risks further back issues Sunday; fatigue for Stan; all or nothing match
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