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Davis Cup World Group Final 2014


Stade Pierre Mauroy Lille, France

R1: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Stan Wawrinka 1-6 6-3 3-6 2-6

R2: Gael Monfils vs Roger Federer 6-1 6-4 6-3

R3: J.Benneteau/R.Gasquet vs R.Federer/S.Wawrinka 3-6 5-7 4-6

R4: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Roger Federer 4-6 2-6 2-6

R5: Gael Monfils vs Stan Wawrinka (not played)

Federer Clinches First Davis Cup for Switzerland; Defeats Gasquet in 3 Sets November 23 2014 Lille, France – Roger Federer handed Switzerland a historic first Davis Cup title after a 64 62 62 demolition of Richard Gasquet in the first reverse singles sealed a 3-1 victory for the visitors against France in the 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final.


In front of a new world record crowd of 27,448 in Lille’s Stade Pierre Mauroy, the 17-time Grand Slam champion was in total control of a match that lasted just one hour and 42 minutes. The result put his country in the history books as just the 14th nation to win the Davis Cup trophy in the competition’s 115-year history.


Federer’s straight-sets win over Gasquet followed his victory with world No. 4 Stan Wawrinka in Saturday’s doubles, in which they defeated Gasquet and Julien Benneteau 63 75 64 to put the visitors 2-1 up ahead of the last day. On Friday Wawrinka had scored the first point for the Swiss with a four-set win against Tsonga, but Monfils made it 1-1 for France with a straight-sets defeat of Federer.


Federer’s performance on Sunday banished thoughts of that inglorious loss on the opening day and by lifting the Davis Cup trophy with his country the world No. 2 has plugged one of the few remaining holes in his resume.


“I’m unbelievably happy. Amazing feeling to be celebrating with my friends,” said Federer. “Just a great match, great atmosphere. It was a beautiful weekend for tennis.”


“We fought hard for it, I’ve been playing this game for almost 15 years now and clearly I’ve never come as close as this last weekend. I’m happy I was able to stay calm and play a good match when I had to and I’m happy for all the guys on the team.”


Federer was quick to pay tribute to teammate Wawrinka’s vital role in Switzerland’s triumph, and to the medical team that helped him recover from the back injury that last week threatened to derail his Davis Cup campaign.


“Everybody worked incredibly hard to get me match ready, and Stan has put in so much effort over the years and played an unbelievable weekend, and that’s what gave me the opportunity today. I’m very much aware of that and this one’s for the boys. This is not for me, this is for them.”


It was a devastating result for France, with captain Arnaud Clement unable to play his No. 1 player Tsonga in the crunch encounter, relying instead on the less experienced services of world No. 26 Gasquet, playing in his first live reverse singles rubber since 2007 and in possession of a 2-12 losing record against Federer. As Clement explained later, Tsonga had suffered a recurrence of an arm injury during his match on Friday which left him unable to take any further part in the Davis Cup Final.


Federer was on the attack from the start on Sunday while Gasquet was never able to make any impression on his Swiss opponent’s serve. The Swiss broke Gasquet in the third game of the first set and had chances to go a double break up in the Frenchman’s next two service games, but Gasquet withstood the pressure before Federer served out the set in 44 minutes, sealing an impressive love service game with a cross court forehand winner.


With the cowbells in the vast converted football stadium clanging ever louder, Federer swiftly took first blood in the second set when Gasquet missed a backhand return. Although Gasquet held his own serve with ease he was still getting few chances in Federer’s service games and with the match racing away from the hosts, Federer struck again, two stunning returns on Gasquet’s serve helping him to a 5-2 lead. A game later Federer had the second set, clinched with a drop shot that left his opponent standing dazed at the back of the court.


With their man two sets down, the French crowd did their best to lift Gasquet and there were signs that he was fighting back early in the third set: he withstood four break points on his serve in the opening game, and having only won seven points on Federer’s serve through the first two sets, posed more of a threat in the fouth game, taking the 17-time Grand Slam champion to deuce for the first time in the match. But still Gasquet was unable to impose himself in that crucial fourth game.


Gasquet and France’s fate was effectively sealed in the very next game, in which a superb volley from Federer helped him to secure the break. Gasquet’s serve buckled under the pressure again two games later, and Federer secured Switzerland’s historic triumph by serving out to love, a neat drop shot providing the cue for Federer to drop to his knees in celebration as his jubilant teammates rushed onto the court.

Day Two

Federer, Wawrinka Give Swiss 2-1 Lead; Defeat Benneteau, Gasquet in Doubles ATP Staff November 22, 2014 Lille, France - Switzerland is on the brink of capturing the Davis Cup trophy for the first time after Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka combined to give the 1992 runner-up a 2-1 lead against nine-time former champion France. Federer and Wawrinka broke a four-match losing streak as a doubles team in Davis Cup rubbers by beating France's Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday. It was Federer and Wawrinka's first doubles team win on a clay court.


Federer and Wawrinka, who clinched the 2008 Beijing Olympics doubles gold medal, hit 67 winners, including seven aces, and won 40 of their 53 points at the net for victory in two hours and 12 minutes at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille. World No. 2 Federer will look to give Switzerland an unassailable 3-1 lead on Sunday when he meets Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first reverse singles rubber. Should Federer lose, Wawrinka is scheduled to face Gael Monfils in the fifth rubber.


Wawrinka, buoyed with the confidence of beating Tsonga on Friday, stepped into the court to fire two winners to help break Benneteau’s serve for a 4-2 lead in the first set. Almost unplayable on serve, Wawrinka set up Federer for routine putaways at the net. The Swiss pair lost just five of their service points against Benneteau and Gasquet, who won the 2012 London Olympics bronze medal, in the 28-minute first set. They hit 17 winners.


Benneteau, who normally plays in the deuce court with his regular partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin, and Gasquet failed to convert any of their five point opportunities in the second set. Gasquet faltered on his serve at 5-5, leaving Benneteau open to a barrage of powerful groundstrokes. Federer hit a break-clinching backhand return at 15/40, as Benneteau crossed anticipating a poach. Federer closed out to 15, as the Swiss proved to be tactically adept when the set got tight.


One break of serve, in the fifth game of the third set, proved to be enough for Federer and Wawrinka, who sealed victory with an angled volley winner. First-time pairing Benneteau and Gasquet won only 19 of their 87 service return points.

Day One

Monfils Levels Tie with Straight Set Win Over Federer; Wawrinka Tops Tsonga in 4 Sets November 21 2014 by Stuart Fraser Lille, France – Gael Monfils produced one of the best performances of his career to defeat Roger Federer in straight sets and bring France level at 1-1 with Switzerland after day one of the 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final in Lille.


Stan Wawrinka had put the visitors in front with a 61 36 63 62 victory against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening rubber but, in front of a world record crowd for an official tennis match of 27,432 at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Monfils was inspired as he beat world No. 2 Federer 61 64 63 in one hour and 46 minutes.


Julien Benneateau and Richard Gasquet are scheduled to take on Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer in Saturday’s doubles rubber, although Switzerland captain Severin Luthi may well be tempted to make a change and bring in Wawrinka and Federer for such a pivotal match, with the latter surprisingly optimistic after his recent back issue.


“I'll definitely make myself available if I feel that I can play proper tennis,” said Federer. “I started to feel better as the match went on.  That's very encouraging, I must say. I would think that I'm going to get better as the weekend goes on. I hope I’ll be fine tonight and tomorrow morning to give maximum possibilities for Severin and back up Stan and the rest of the team.”


After Federer pulled out of the final of the ATP World Tour Finals in London last Sunday, the condition of the 33-year-old’s back had been the subject of much discussion and it appeared to hinder him in the early stages of his match against Monfils as he did not show his usual fluid movement.

In contrast, world No. 19 Monfils made a strong start on serve with a stunning backhand pass earning him break point in the fourth game and Federer netted with a tame backhand. Inspired by the passionate home support, Monfils later claimed the double break for 5-1 and fired down consecutive aces on his way to closing out the first set in 30 minutes.


Federer continued to struggle and dropped serve in the third game of the second set as he failed to move his feet in time to return a deep Monfils forehand. Although the Swiss settled after this, one break was enough for Monfils who went on to claim a two-set lead.


This position was somewhat familiar to Monfils who had also been two sets up against Federer at the US Open in September, although he went on to lose in five sets. There was to be no collapse, however, this time as Monfils went 4-2 ahead and then broke again for the victory with a backhand winner down the line to inflict Federer's first ever straight-sets defeat in a live rubber.


Tsonga Takes on Wawrinka in Opener; 'Fit to Play' Federer Faces Monfils in 2nd Rubber

November 20, 2014 ITS Staff Lille, France - Roger Federer was cleared to go all out and fit to play for Switzerland who is trying to clinch their first-ever Davis Cup victory against France at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille this weekend.


After having to pull out of the final of the ATP World Tour Finals in London last Sunday with a back injury last Sunday, the 17-time Grand Slam winner is able to declare himself ready to play one hundred percent for the best of five rubber final. The World No. 2 was drawn to play Gael Monfils in the the second rubber on Friday while Stan Wawrinka takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 2:00 pm Paris time.


 In an interview during the draw Federer said, “Obviously if I'm stepping out on the court, that means I can play. That's most important. I'm really pleased that I'm able to play tomorrow. I am definitely looking forward to playing against Gael. I think he's a great player, very exciting to watch. I like to play against him, too.”


Federer was able to practice for half an hour on Wednesday evening and again Thursday morning with Wawrinka and the rest of the Swiss team.

DC Win Will Complete Federer's Career November 19 2014 by Clive White Lille, France - Anyone who has seen Roger Federer’s ecstatic reaction to winning a gold medal in the doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will know how much it means to him to succeed on behalf of his country. Yet, strangely, the 17-time Grand Slam champion has always been a little coy about acknowledging the fact that the one precious prize he hasn’t won is the most famous team prize of all - the Davis Cup. Probably not until he actually wins the trophy will we know what it really means to him, but judging by his behaviour in Beijing, when he knelt down beside his doubles partner Stan Wawrinka and unashamedly paid homage to him, it’s safe to say that he will probably be beside himself with joy. Continue reading

France Relying on Team Depth... November 19 2014 by Clive White Lille, France - The common criticism of the present generation of French Davis Cup players is that while they have excellent strength in depth they don’t have a Grand Slam champion who could make the difference between winning and losing a final. The truth is that it has been the country’s nominated No. 2s that has cost the country most dear in its last two final appearances, in 2002 and 2010. The France team recently named by captain Arnaud Clement for the Davis Cup Final by BNP Paribas against Switzerland in Lille on November 21-23 is the strongest in living memory: four players all inside the top 30; in fact, they could have had five if the rules had permitted it. Only Spain has greater depth (it could muster a team of four players inside the top 15). Continue…

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