Fed­erer: I had a Davis Cup blast and Stan’s the man ...

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

ZURICH: Roger Fed­erer has only days to fin­ish up fi­nal heal­ing on a back prob­lem after clinch­ing a first Davis Cup ti­tle for Switzer­land.

The world No 2 is due to fly out to In­dia to play a hand­ful of matches in the new In­ter­na­tional Pro­fes­sional Ten­nis League, a 10-day, four-city “league” de­signed to bring ten­nis to ea­ger Asian au­di­ences.The Swiss is due to head im­me­di­ately for his base in Dubai and be within strik­ing dis­tance of In­dia, where he will play in ties for the In­dian Acres squad on a light­ning visit to the sub­con­ti­nent.

His straight-sets re­verse sin­gles win on Sun­day in Lille over Richard Gas­quet gave the Swiss a 3-1 win over hosts France and wrote another page in the Fed­erer legend.

The 33-year-old didn’t dis­cuss the finer points of his mir­a­cle re­cov­ery from back pain which a week ago forced him to for­feit the London year-end fi­nal to No­vak Djokovic.

But he did re­veal some de­tail:

“We spoke a lot, talked a lot about what are the pos­si­bil­i­ties, how I was go­ing to feel best quickly with­out for­get­ting that I have a life, I still have a ca­reer to play next year.

“The body needs time to heal and re­cover, so we gave that time to the body,” said a player whose ca­reer fit­ness prob­lems have been min­i­mal. “Last Mon­day, Tues­day, I didn’t feel like I was go­ing to play three days (in the Davis fi­nal with France), no way.”

But the sit­u­a­tion changed after Fed­erer was beaten in open­ing sin­gles on Fri­day by Gael Mon­fils but left the court feel­ing well.

“After Fri­day I thought there was a chance, for sure, that’s when I felt most con­fi­dent. But up un­til the match, I didn’t think that three days was ac­tu­ally pos­si­ble, to be quite hon­est.”

He ended up play­ing in three straight rub­bers in as many days.

Fed­erer com­pared the joy of win­ning the Davis Cup to that he ex­pe­ri­enced in 2008 when he and team­mate Stan Wawrinka won the Beijing Olympic gold medal. “It’s been a great few years we’ve had to­gether. As well as the rest of the team, this is some­thing for us to share, like the Olympic gold.”

Fed­erer de­scribed his feel­ing as “un­be­liev­ably happy. Cel­e­brat­ing with my friends. Just a great match, great at­mos­phere. It was a beau­ti­ful week­end for ten­nis. I had a blast play­ing it, I thought it was a priv­i­lege. I mean that. I can’t thank Stan enough for the ef­fort he put in to build me back up. Same for (cap­tain) Sev­erin (Luthi). They were just keep­ing me alive re­ally.”

Aus­tralian Open win­ner Wawrinka echoed Fed­erer’s joy­ous sen­ti­ments. “It’s been an ex­cep­tional year for me, I’ve been dream­ing of this Davis Cup for years,” said the ATP No 4, a Davis stal­wart over the years while Fed­erer’s pres­ences have been in­ter­mit­tent. “I’ve been try­ing ev­ery­thing I can to win this com­pe­ti­tion. With Sev­erin, with Roger, Mishi (Michael Lam­mer) and Marco (Chi­udinelli), all the staff, we had many ex­pe­ri­ences to­gether dur­ing the past years.

“This was maybe the ideal year, it started off very well in Ser­bia. It ends up per­fectly well here in France. We did it and are very happy.” – Sapa-dpa

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