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Why Davis Cup remains an unfulfilled dream for Federer

Roger Federer close to the net.
by Simon Cambers
Friday 7 February 2014

Dwight Davis's famous trophy is the one piece of silverware missing from Roger Federer's haul. Wimbledon.com explores whether 2014 could be the year he finally claims it...

Roger Federer has won Wimbledon seven times, won a record 17 Grand Slam titles and picked up 77 singles titles in a glittering career. But despite dominating the sport for much of his 16 years as a professional, there is one thing missing from the great man’s resume. The Davis Cup.

Mention Davis Cup in relation to Wimbledon and it evokes golden memories of finals played at the All England Club, of classic ties involving the likes of the United States and Australia and of many career-defining performances. As a man for whom the traditions of the game are more important than most, Federer would dearly love to add a Davis Cup title to his array of achievements and perhaps 2014 might just be the year he does it.

At the age of 32, Federer knows time is running out if he wants to win the prestigious team competition for the first time. For years, the Swiss dipped in and out, deciding that protecting his schedule was more important than going flat out for a title which, with him as his country’s only world class player, was still only a possibility, not a probability.

But with the recent coronation of Stanislas Wawrinka as a Grand Slam champion after his Australian Open triumph last month, Federer finally has company and Switzerland have two top-10 players who realistically have a chance to win the Davis Cup.

Federer and Wawrinka joined forces to secure a win over Serbia in round one and though he has yet to commit to the rest of the season, if he stays fit, and with Spain and Serbia already out, it seems he may never have a better chance. “I don’t want to think too far ahead,” he said. “We have a chance but this is a year-long competition and there is plenty of time.”

But Federer could not hide his delight at how things have gone so far and immediately signalled his intention to be there against Kazakhstan in April. “Joining my friends, captain Seve (Luthi) and STAN against KazakhSTAN in April.”

Luthi, who combines his role as captain with coaching Federer on Tour, said the presence of the two champions is crucial to his side’s chances of winning the competition for the first time in the country’s history.

“The objective is to keep Wawrinka and Federer in the team and have them available for that tie and it is also very good that we will be at home in the match against Kazakhstan,” he said.

Wawrinka, too, showed his commitment by jetting from Melbourne to Novi Sad in Serbia, via a quick stop at home, and the new Australian Open champion is determined to win the title with Federer, the man he won Olympic doubles gold alongside in 2008.

“Maybe you don’t know, but Davis Cup, it’s really important for me,” Wawrinka said after his Melbourne victory. “I’m really proud. It’s a big honour to play for my country.”

Should Federer and Wawrinka get past Kazakhstan in April and Great Britain manage to win in Italy, the two countries would meet in the semi-finals in September. Could Wimbledon be the perfect stage?

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