Davis Cup: Federer, Switzerland come back, reach semifinals
GENEVA — Roger Federer won the decisive singles match on Sunday to give Switzerland a 3-2 win over Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup and a spot in the semifinals for the first time in 11 years.
Federer cruised to a 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-3 victory over 64th-ranked Andrey Golubev, then ran across the court to embrace team captain Severin Luethi.
"We’re very relieved and very happy," said the 32-year-old Federer, who has never won a Davis Cup title. "It was a long weekend with a lot of tennis."
Trailing 2-1 after losing Saturday’s doubles, Switzerland had drawn level when Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
"Stan gave me the chance to play again today. It was a pleasure," Federer said in French in a courtside interview in front of the 15,000-plus crowd at the Palexpo indoor arena
Switzerland will host Italy in the semifinals on Sept. 12-14.
The Swiss have never won the Davis Cup, and last reached the semifinals in 2003. Then, a Federer-led team lost to Lleyton Hewitt’s Australia.
Federer converted his first match point when his opponent could not return the serve.
He also won in straight sets in Friday’s opening singles against 56th-ranked Kukushkin.
On Sunday, the third-ranked Wawrinka did not allow Kukushkin any break points in the match, though lost the first-set tiebreaker after a series of misplayed forehands.
Wawrinka then used service breaks in the fifth game of the second set and opening game of the third to take control.
He forced the decisive break at 4-4 in the fourth, with a forehand crosscourt return for a winner.
Wawrinka clinched the match with his 25th ace.