Swiss head to Davis Cup final after beating Italy
France will host Switzerland in the Davis Cup tennis tournament final in November after Roger Federer gave the Swiss the winning point against Italy in Geneva on Sunday.
Federer reached the first Davis Cup final of his career with a comfortable 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) win over Fabio Fognini in the first of the semifinal's reverse singles.
That made it 3-1 for the Swiss thus ensuring they would contest the final of the annual team event for the first time since 1992, when they lost to the United States.
Andreas Seppi edged Michael Lammer 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in the remaining dead rubber to make the final score 3-2.
France made sure of playing in the final for the first time since 2010 on Saturday when their doubles team of Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Czechs Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek in four sets at Roland Garros.
The final will be played in France from November 21st-23rd, with the northern city of Lille being touted as the likely host.
The last time the two countries met in a Davis Cup tie was in the 2004 quarterfinals when the Swiss won 3-2 at home.
"The most classical match-ups I've had have come against France so I'm happy," said Federer.
"We've had some great ties here in Switzerland so we're very pleased to be in the finals and we'll see how it's going to go," the Basel native said.
"It's nice sharing emotions with your fans and your loved ones," he said.
You have to fight with what you've got and I'm happy I was able to make a difference."
Seeking a Davis Cup title to go with his all-time record of 17 Grand Slam victories, Federer had given the Swiss the opening point of the tie with a straight-sets win over Simone Bolelli and he started as a strong favourite against top Italian Fognini.
Games went with serve until 3-2 for Federer in the opener when the Swiss star made the breakthrough and went on to take the set 6-2 in just 24 minutes.
The second set also saw Federer edge his way ahead with a break in the eighth game, Fognini furious with himself for netting an attempted smash on break point.
The volatile Italian had his chances in the third set against an increasingly edgy Federer, but squandered three break points in the third game and another break point two games later.
He was made to pay the price in the ensuing tie-break which Federer dominated after conceding the first point on his own serve.
The Swiss star worked out three match points and he converted the first of those as Fognini netted a forehand drive.
Over in Paris, the France versus Czech Republic tie ended at Roland Garros in a 4-1 win for the French, Jiri Vesely defeating Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-3 before Gael Monfils beat Lukas Rosol 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in the two "dead" rubbers.
France last won the Davis Cup in 2001 when they travelled to Australia and won 3-2.