Federer's back is key in Davis Cup final

Updated: 2014-11-19 15:06


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Chasing the only major title still eluding him, Federer also showed his commitment to the Davis Cup this year, joining the Swiss team immediately after his loss in the US Open semifinals to take part to their semifinal against Italy in September.

For years, Federer did not regard the Davis Cup as a main priority. The emergence of Wawrinka as a top player changed the equation and convinced him they had a good chance of winning the event. But without Federer, the Swiss have won just one of the 10 ties they have played in the World Group since his debut in the competition in 1999.

If Federer can't play, Swiss captain Severin Luthi will have to do either with the 212th-ranked Marco Chiudinelli or No. 508 Michael Lammer.

"For the time being, we are not thinking that Roger Federer will not play on Friday," France captain Arnaud Clement said. "We have been preparing for 10 days, and we are prepared to play the Swiss team with Federer and Wawrinka. But what we are going to play is not Federer's team, it is the Swiss team. They have good players."

Unlike its opponents, France is at full strength with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet having traveled to Lille after a training camp in Bordeaux. Clement also summoned Gilles Simon as a reserve player.

Both Tsonga and Gasquet, who won their singles matches and teamed up in doubles in the victory over the Czech Republic in the semifinals, said they are not getting distracted by the Swiss team's struggles.

France is looking to win the trophy for the 10th time.

"I think for this weekend, the important thing for us is to stay focused on ourselves, on our team," Tsonga said. "What we need is to have a perfect performance. What we can do is just play tennis. Anything else is not really our business."

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