Roger Federer is relishing the opportunity to send Switzerland into the Davis Cup final this weekend, as he hopes his team can “write history.”
The world number three’s team are set to face Italy in a home tie in Geneva, which gets underway on Friday, and they are aiming to reach their first final in the competition since 1992, where they lost to USA.
The Davis Cup is the only best of five set tournament that the 33-year-old is yet to win, having completed the career Grand Slam on the way to winning 17 majors, and he goes into the tie having been surprisingly beaten in the semi-finals of the US Open last week by eventual champion Marin Cilic.
While Switzerland have never won the Davis Cup, with the 1992 final being their only run to the last two, they now have arguably their best ever chance to go all the way, as Federer will be joined by world number four Stanislas Wawrinka, who won his maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.
The final beckons
Federer is excited about the prospect of reaching his first final, and he will be in action in the first singles rubber against world number 76 Simone Bolelli on the indoor court at the Palexpo indoor arena.
The former world number one said at a press conference: “We have the opportunity to write history.
“As a team, we haven’t had much success over the past 50 years.
“Hopefully they’ll talk about this tie in 20 years.
“This is the dream for us, the players.”
Switzerland will be hoping for a less nail-biting tie than their previous victory in this year’s competition, where they came back from behind to beat Kazakhstan 3-2 at home in April, with Federer winning the decisive rubber against Andrey Golubev.
Their opponents, who are aiming to win their first Davis Cup final since 1976, also came back to win a narrow quarter-final from a losing position, as Fabio Fognini defeated Great Britain’s Andy Murray on the way to a 3-2 home victory.
Fognini will face Wawrinka in the second singles rubber on Friday, before the doubles rubber on Saturday, which will see both Federer and Wawrinka take on Paolo Lorenzi and Andreas Seppi, and then the singles will be reversed on Sunday.
Should they reach the final, then Switzerland will face the winners of the other semi-final between France and Czech Republic in Paris, and the winner of that tie will hold home advantage in the final in November.
Czech Republic are aiming to win the tournament for the third consecutive year, though they will have to deal with a partisan French crowd of up to nearly 15,000 supporters at Roland Garros, the same location for the French Open.
Friday’s action on the clay surfaced Philippe Chatrier Court will see French number two Richard Gasquet play world number six Tomas Berdych, before Jo-Wilfried Tsonga takes on Lukas Rosol.