At the age of 33, Roger Federer has now won every major accolade possible in tennis. Yesterday’s 6-4 6-2 6-2 win over Richard Gasquet clinched a 3-1 victory in the tie and Switzerland’s maiden Davis Cup title.
Overwhelmed by emotion after the final point, Federer dropped to his knees and proved how vital a couple of days are in tennis. Just 48 hours earlier, Federer had been stunned by France’s Gael Monfils in a straight-sets defeat, raising eyebrows over whether he would be able to compete in the tie again.
However just like he has done time and time again throughout his career, Federer proved the doubters wrong, coming out the next day alongside Stan Wawrinka after being drafted in for the doubles.
The pair had recovered from their spat at the ATP Finals last week and were dominant in a 6-3 7-5 6-4 triumph over Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet, swinging the final in Switzerland’s direction.
The away side entered the final day knowing they needed just one win from the two rubbers to secure victory. Who better to take that responsibility than a 17-time Grand Slam champion, Olympic Gold medalist and someone who has been the world number one for a record 302 weeks.
If that wasn’t enough to unnerve France, they were dealt a further blow when their highest ranked singles player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to pull out with an elbow injury.
This forced Gasquet to step up and face Federer, in front of a world record crowd at Roland Garros, with his entire nation’s hopes resting on him to avoid defeat. Ultimately the pressure proved too much for the Frenchman and the result was never really in any doubt.
Federer dedicated the win to his compatriots and despite his emotional celebration shrugged off any personal accolades.
“This is for the boys. I have won enough in my career that I don’t need this to complete my everything," he said.
“This is for the boys. I have won enough in my career that I don’t need this to complete my everything"
“We put in so much hard work. I am happy I was able to stay calm and play a good match.”
The value and credibility of the Davis Cup has been under threat over the past few years but the fact it can still attract a world record 27,448 attendance, as well as six players from the top 30 in the rankings to compete, show there is definitely still an appetite for the only team event in men’s tennis.