• Switzerland's news in English

Federer legend grows with Davis Cup win

Allan Kelly/AFP · 24 Nov 2014, 21:33

Published: 24 Nov 2014 21:33 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

All four Grand Slam titles — a record 17 in total — six ATP year-end titles, 23 Masters Series, Olympic gold and now the Davis Cup for Switzerland.

The Olympic title of course was in the doubles with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008 and he has yet to match great rival Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi as the only men to have won all four Grand Slam titles, Olympic singles gold and the Davis Cup during the course of their careers.
But still — it's an astonishing record for a player many consider to be the greatest of all time.
The Davis Cup win was arguably the hardest of them all for Federer to win, involving as it does other players and doubles action.
Asked to compare his feelings in winning Wimbledon for the first time in 2003 and what he felt on Sunday after supplying the point Switzerland needed to win the Davis Cup final over France he replied: "You can't compare.
"When I won Wimbledon, it was a total shock, honestly. Davis Cup is something that I knew was possible at some stage in my career.
"Of course, there was the pressure of being able to manage all this and make everyone happy with all the support we had for the team and everything. So it is a totally different feeling.
"Also I was not alone on the court. This changes totally everything."
Federer's first tournament as a professional was in the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad in 1998, where he lost in the round of 32.
Although rated as one of best juniors in the world, there was no real hint at that time what tennis was about to witness as he entered the professional sphere
It wasn't until he defeated Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in a fourth round match in five sets in 2001 that his true potential became clearer to see.
Yet he struggled to make much headway in the Grand Slam events and question marks were raised when he lost miserably to Luis Horna in the first round of the French Open in 2003.
Federer came up alongside a generation of young champions who achieved immediate success, like Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin.
While his contemporaries were shooting up the rankings and winning Grand Slam titles, he struggled to break through.

Story continues below…

Days of frustration
"I don't want to say I was frustrated, but I didn't understand why it wasn't happening for me," Federer said last year. "I was far enough behind that I was, 'OK, let's push myself a little more'."
A month after his Paris flop, that change of attitude reaped immediate dividends as Federer produced a majestic display over the Wimbledon fortnight, defeating Mark Philippoussis in straight sets in the final.
The Federer era had begun in earnest and he dominated tennis over the next four years winning 10 Grand Slam titles. On two occasions — in 2004 and 2007 — he won three out of four.
By that time Spanish clay court king Rafael Nadal had come along to become the player Federer has always seen as his greatest rival.
Nadal ruled at Roland Garros and it took his shock defeat at the hands of Robin Soderling in 2009 to clear the way for Federer to finally win the French Open, thus completing the Grand Slam set.
By that time he had won Olympic gold with Wawrinka in 2008 and by Wimbledon 2012 he had taken his haul of Grand Slam titles to an all-time best of 17.
Still the Davis Cup remained out of his grasp and, at 33, time was clearly running out when he and Wawrinka decided, after the latter won the Australian Open at the start of the year, that they would commit totally to playing the Davis Cup this year.
They swept past a Novak Djokovic-less Serbia in the first round, edged a nervy outing against Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals and comfortably saw off Italy in the semis.
France away in the final was a different prospect, however, with players of the calibre of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils on the other side of the net.
A fractious match against Wawrinka in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals when the two argued and Federer damaged his back did not help.
But all that was swept aside in Lille as Switzerland became just the 14th country to win the Davis Cup.
"For me personally, obviously I'm unbelievably happy because I've been playing in this competition for probably almost 15 years now," he said.
"At the end of the day I wanted it more for the guys and for (coach) Severin (Luthi) and Stan, the staff and everybody involved. This is one for the boys."

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Allan Kelly/AFP (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available