Federer recalls emotional 2001 Davis Cup win vs US
Roger Federer hopes to recapture the emotion of Switzerland’s
2001 Davis Cup victory against the United States when they meet
again in the first round this weekend.
Federer recalled the Swiss win on Tuesday, when as a 19-year-old
he won three matches for a 3-2 victory in his home city of
”I think it was my first emotional outburst on a tennis court
because I was so exhausted on Sunday after winning singles, doubles
and singles,” Federer said.
Federer said that performance, against a U.S. team led by Todd
Martin, ”definitely got me in winning ways.” Months later at
Wimbledon, he beat four-time defending champion Pete Sampras in the
”It was a start of great things for me and I’m happy playing
America again,” said the 30-year-old Federer, who will line up in
singles on Friday with Stanislas Wawrinka against Mardy Fish and
Federer owns a record 16 Grand Slam singles titles, but he
hasn’t won the Davis Cup trophy.
Federer’s skipped the first round of the Davis Cup since 2004,
and changed his preparations to play Davis Cup this year.
He hasn’t played on clay so early in the season since 2004 in
Romania, and it’s been seven years since he played in Europe in
On a cold, 20-degree day in Fribourg, it was perhaps easy to
understand his previous schedule. He typically practices after the
Australian Open and plays a single tournament in Dubai, where he
has a home.
But Federer renewed his Davis Cup commitment by traveling to
Australia last September for a World Group playoff that Wawrinka
helped clinch. The five-set win over Lleyton Hewitt was halted in
the Sunday twilight and completed Monday.
”It’s only normal for me to play the first round after that
heroic effort of his,” Federer said.
The third-ranked Swiss said he’s in ”a good state mentally and
physically” after his semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal in
”I’ve had a great run since last year’s U.S. Open and haven’t
lost until just the other week,” he said. ”The transition to clay
has been somewhat easy. Clay is good on the body.”
Federer helped choose the slow indoor surface, a perceived
weakness of the American team.
”It’s the best surface to play the United States, and we think
it will be a small advantage for us,” Switzerland captain Severin
U.S. captain Jim Courier was content with court conditions,
after practices suggested the balls fly faster at the stadium
altitude of about 2,000 feet.
”It’s playing the way we would want it to play,” Courier
Fish has a career 1-7 record against Federer, though they have
never met on clay.
”For a bunch of years he’s been head and shoulders the second
best (clay-court) player behind Rafa and has beaten him,” the
eighth-ranked Fish said. ”Clay is obviously one of his strengths.
But he’s got his work cut out in the first match, as do I.”
Fish is likely to play in doubles on Saturday – against Olympic
champions Federer and Wawrinka – with Mike Bryan, whose brother and
partner Bob is at home after the birth of his daughter last
”I’ve only played with one other person in the last 10 years
and that was Mardy Fish, and we have good memories,” Bryan said,
recalling a five-set win against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and
Fernando Verdasco in a 2008 Davis Cup semifinal.
Isner acknowledged that the U.S. start as underdogs, adding that
he relished the challenge.
”It’s not the easiest match, that’s for sure. But we’re
definitely capable of coming here, playing well and hopefully
getting out of here with a win,” Isner said. ”All of us cherish
that … to play for these guys, play for captain Courier and play
for your country. It’s really an honor.”
Courier predicted a friendlier rivalry than the confrontational
1992 final when he helped a stellar U.S. lineup beat the Swiss in
Fort Worth, Texas.
”I expect it will be a very friendly, competitive and
gentlemanly contest between our teams,” Courier said.