Fans give Davis Cup heroes rousing reception
Switzerland’s tennis team received a heroes' welcome in Lausanne on Monday upon their return from Lille, France after winning the country’s first Davis Cup title.
A cheering crowd of close to 10,000 people met Roger Federer and the rest of the team at Ouchy, a suburb of the home town of Stan Wawrinka, the other lynchpin in the Swiss side’s historic victory against France.
Federer’s decisive victory on Sunday against Frenchman Richard Gasquet sealed the Swiss win.
But in an acknowledgment of Wawrinka’s role in the victory — he won the first game for Switzerland against France and joined Federer in their doubles’ victory — Federer and other members agreed the team should head first to Lausanne to show off the trophy.
The team flew to Geneva before transferring directly to a bus that took them to Ouchy, overlooking Lake Geneva, the Tribune de Genève reported.
The team arrived to wild applause at the Place de la Navigation in Lausanne at around 4.25pm, where clad in jackets and ties, they acknowledged the crowd from a stage.
The Davis Cup victory was “unexpected”, Wawrinka told the crowd, the ATS news agency reported.
“You have really supported me,” he said, saying the fans really deserved the (Davis Cup) trophy.
“It has been the craziest 24 hours of my career,” Federer said, adding that he still wanted to “play a little more”.
Confetti rained on the team as the crowd sang “we are the champions”.
Dignitaries from the cantonal government of Vaud and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach welcomed the team as they got off the bus, while MPs ands senators paid tribute to the tennis squad in speeches given in Bern.