The 2013 Davis Cup is underway with a range of ties taking place across the world; notably Switzerland are playing without Federer in their tie against defending Champions the Czech Republic.
Federer has been getting some stick from the fans & Swiss press about not playing, which I think is completely unjustified. To be honest, if you criticise Roger for not playing Davis Cup, you're not a Fed fan, nor are you a tennis fan. Period.
For me personally and the majority of the top players, the Davis Cup is low on the tennis agenda. It's boring, bears little meaning in a players overall career and is just something that they play in if there's nothing better to be doing.
I get the fact it's good for fans that have tickets to watch tennis in their own country, they see players close up in a more relaxed environment which is fun, but other than that it doesn't offer much. It's almost like an Exhibition tournament, just a nice run out for the players and something for the fans to enjoy. So how can you berate a player for choosing not to play in it?
I would personally much rather see players prioritise Grand Slams and Masters 1000 tournaments because those are the ones that feature the highest level of competition and are far more entertaining for the fans.
Should Federer play in the Davis Cup again?
No, he shouldn't. Not unless it makes perfect sense to do so. This in my opinion is unlikely. Roger has pointed out his goal for the remainder of his career is longevity and still to compete at the highest level.
The Davis Cup doesn't lend itself to those goals, it's a low quality tournament and nobody ever extended their career or became a better player because of it.
It often means travelling to far out places to play in pointless ties against other nations who don't take it seriously either. We all saw how playing in the Netherlands last year was a bad idea for Roger and impacted on the remainder of 2012. The good news is that it seems he has learnt his lesson this time around and decided to make the right choices by skipping it.
This time around Roger would have had to rush back from Australia to play against the Czech Republic and then have little preparation time for Rotterdam. At 31 years of age that doesn't make sense and could easily negatively impact on other tournaments throughout the season.
The Swiss nation is pretty much a one man team anyway so Roger has to carry the burden & expectation on his shoulders, you should be able to play in the Davis Cup pressure free because it's not that competitive but of course when you're Roger and the Swiss depend on you, you can't.
For some reason, the fans seem to think that having Federer in your team means you can win the Davis Cup easily but that's clearly not the case.
Consequently, whenever he doesn't make himself available the Swiss Press hound him as though he is disrespecting his nation and ruining their chances of Davis Cup glory.
It's probably just to sell more copies of their Swiss Newspapers but it's a weak argument. The Swiss Team has zero chance of winning the Davis Cup with or without him as there's not enough strength in depth; so even if he played it's doubtful it would make much difference to the end result.
The only real argument is that the fans don't get to see him play in their own country that often, but he has always played Basel and he has played many tournaments across Europe throughout his career so it's not like he's made it impossible for fans to watch him play live.
If anything he's the most accessible tennis player of all time who has always prioritised the fans and given the press plenty of time so they can deliver the information the fans want.
So rather than have short memories, I think the fans ought to remember what Federer has done for tennis as a whole. And if anyone had the choice I'm sure they would prefer to see the GOAT keep playing, competing at a top level and winning trophies that people actually remember? I know I would.
What do you guys think? Is the Davis Cup pointless and should Roger ever play in it again?