It is very difficult to believe Roger Federer still has one of the major honours in tennis missing from his glittering CV.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who also has an Olympic gold medal to his name, has overcome the back injury that saw him controversially forfeit the final of the World Tour finals last week and will play France’s Gael Monfils in the second of Friday’s opening rubbers. The veteran is sure to be confident of securing Switzerland’s first Davis Cup title.
Federer's best chance
Despite the decreasing value and significance of the competition, this could be Federer’s best, and last, opportunity for victory. Stan Wawrinka’s rapid development this year provides Switzerland with one of the strongest singles line-ups any country has had for a long time.
Federer has been playing down the importance of the final, but in an interview with USA today he said he would try and win it for the fans.
Federer on the Davis Cup
"Davis Cup is not what it used to be anymore in my opinion," he said.
"It would be great and it would go down as a big moment in tennis history in Switzerland.
"It would be great and it would go down as a big moment in tennis history in Switzerland"
“I see it more as something for fans, the Swiss federation, and for the other players on the team rather than something for me necessarily."
France have a good record against the Swiss, winning 10 out of the last 13 meetings between the nations.They also have the benefit of playing at home and more importantly, on clay.
France vs Switzerland
Clay is both Federer and Wawrinka’s weakest surface by far and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a very dangerous player with what will be a predominantly French crowd behind him. The doubles tie could also be a close affair but with Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau, France will feel like they have the edge over their less experienced Swiss counter-parts.
Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer have spent 10 days in Bordeaux practicing on clay in preparation of the tie. Whereas in previous matches they could rely on the singles’ rubbers to get them through, this final could be determined on the doubles.
Another title would confirm the brilliant year Federer has had. Despite not winning a Grand Slam since 2010, and being written off time and time again, he continues to prove everyone wrong and will fight at the top of the tennis pyramid for a few more years yet.