Another trophy for the Federer cabinet here as he helped Team Switzerland win their first ever Davis Cup trophy at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille. With Stan playing lights out in his win against Tsonga on Friday and Fedrinka cruising the doubles yesterday that gave Roger a chance to put the tie to bed in the fourth rubber and he delivered emphatically.
In fact he was like a different player than the tentative one we saw on Friday against Monfils and he dominated from the word go which alleviated any fears the Swiss fans had regarding the back injury sustained in London. Everything clicked into place for him and his movement looked back to the level that has seen him win 5 titles in 2014.
Gasquet on the other hand, playing as a last minute to replacement for Tsonga was never in the match, constantly trapped behind the baseline and always playing from defensive positions which suits Roger down to a tee. The Frenchman looked flat in yesterday's doubles and although he made a solid start in the opening set he was soon down a break and never really got a foothold from that moment on. The second set was an absolute clinic from Fed who broke twice to take it 6-2 and although Gasquet fought hard in the third set he still couldn't muster a break point and Roger sealed the deal with a backhand dropshot winner before slumping to his knees in celebration.
Overall just an impressive team performance from the Swiss who get to take home the Davis Cup trophy for the first time in their history. It all started back in February in Novi Sad, Serbia where Roger made a last minute decision to play and that was followed with wins against Kazakhstan and Italy en route to the final against 9 time champions France. It didn't look overly promising for Fed after he got dispatched by Monfils in straight sets on Friday but his decision to play the singles and doubles paid off immensely as by the time the fourth rubber came around he had more confidence in his back and more familiarity with the surface. Smart work from whoever pushed for that decision to be made and I think that combined with Stan playing the brand of tennis that won him the Australian Open was the reason the Swiss leave Lille as champions.
A lot of credit for the win has to go to Stan the man really as he played a very clutch match vs. Tsonga on Friday to give the team something to build on. When Wawrinka is hitting the ball like he can then he is one of the most destructive forces in Tennis. Of course he doesn't have the touch or finesse of someone like Fed but his raw power off both wings is too much for anyone to handle. He also played a key role in the doubles victory and combined peRFectly with Fed to really blow Benneteau and Gasquet off court.
Next stop for Federer in terms of competitive tennis is Brisbane in January and he ends his 2014 campaign as the oldest year-end number 2 since 1973. The win vs. Gasquet was his 73rd win in 85 matches this season and he's taken home 5 titles from 11 finals. A pretty good year and once he has the IPTL out the way I'm sure he will be finding a place in the Sun for a few weeks before returning to Switzerland for an exhbition match vs. Stan in Zurich in late December.