Federer Clinches Davis Cup Tie for Switzerland in Deciding Rubber Against Kazakhstan

Hi folks. If you read my comments you would know by now that I’ve been teaching English at a summer camp in Thailand for the last week. It’s been extremely hectic so I had no time for posting. I did try to follow some of the Davis Cup this weekend, even though my connection was way too weak to watch a proper stream. The Swiss were playing at home in Geneva and Stan was first up on Sunday as the Swiss number one against Kukushkin in the reverse singles. I guess it was not all that much of a surprise when Stan lost to Golubev in four sets given his recent form. This put the Swiss under pressure from the start. It was up to Roger to tie things up against the Kazakhstan number one Kukushkin, and he did just that by routining Kukushkin in straight sets.

Saturday’s doubles was therefor going to be an important match. Fedrinka was up against Golubev and Nedovyesov. I watched some of this match as my stream was half watchable, and I wasn’t exactly impressed with what I saw. Stan was struggling again and Stan and Roger seemed to be out of sync. Something didn’t feel right. I could not see much however so I’m gonna rely on you to correct me and fill in the blanks. I do know that at one set all Roger and Stan was serving for the third set at 5-3 and 30-0. Or so I heard anyway. If that is true then it was basically unacceptable to lose this match. But they did so in 4 sets. It was a real disappointing performance from the former Olympic gold medalists.

Swiss GOAT digging out the win for his country

But like I said something felt off to me and maybe the fact that Stan was the number one player instead of Roger had an effect. From Roger’s comments I always conclude that him and Stan are very good friends, but then I sometimes hear something different from Stan. In tennis there are no real friends anyway because you compete against each other. A lot of these so-called friendships are just appearances. That is why I don’t rate Davis Cup very highly. It is a team sport whereas tennis is an individual sport. You depend on others and you are not in complete control. I’m not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, but it is not how it works in tennis. So Stan and Roger ended up losing the match in 4 sets.

Once again the Swiss were under pressure and it was finally time for Stan to step up. To his credit he did just that, even though he dropped the first set. He then recovered to win the match in 4 sets. It was up to Roger again to set things right and he made it look easy with a straight set win over Golubev to clinch the win for Switzerland. He was never in trouble. He broke in the first set and got broken back only to win the first set in a tie break, and from there on it was smooth sailing. Once again Roger showed his class and I think it is fair to say that he is the real Swiss number one going by current form. His form is still very encouraging while Stan has been a disappointment since he won the Australian Open.

Allez Swiss!

Highlights:

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26 Comments

  1. “It was up to Roger again to set things right and he made it look easy with a straight set”.
    First of all, it is ALWAYS up to Roger :-)

    Second of all, sometimes even I forget exactly HOW GOOD Roger is :-)

    Third of all, yes, Stan and Roger are friends. But I do believe with all my heart that Roger is really happy for Stan that he won AO 2014, but that Roger is not “that happy” that he is Swiss number two.
    Roger is in some ways a bit arrogant, which I just LOVE about him. And I really think that he wishes more GS for Stan, but that he somehow cannot “get used” to this Swiss number two behind his name.
    No matter how his rankings were going (up and down), but he was always Swiss number one.
    Which he proved yesterday. I had really fun seeing Stan and Roger play, but MY GOD, since my short period of time beeing able to watch matches through streams…. yesterday was the WORST Stream day (from hell) !!! My stream went away, literally EVERY 15 seconds and I had to refresh literally every 15 seconds to watch things. Because of that, I missed Roger’s second set setpoint and almost matchpoint !!!

    Ps: Ru-an, hope your teaching class goes well. Just remember, busy times for you, but you are doing a good thing that will help the people there :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Katyani I appreciate the comment. I hope everything is well with you.

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  2. I actually think you’re on to something with the Swiss number one status making things weird. But i think it’s from Stan’s side. He seems to idolize Roger and be uncomfortable when asked constantly about being Swiss number one. Especially uncomfortable in Indian Wells on the doubles court interview I noticed. I was surprised to hear you say that you heard other than friendship from Stan to Roger, I have always heard nothing from Stan but respect and appreciation, except a few nudges to try to get Roger to play Davis Cup. I hope you’re getting to enjoy Thailand and not just having to work all the time. All the best.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Eric. Stan has made some strange comments about Roger before regarding DC. I was almost shocked. So yeah there has been some jealousy or something from his side.

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  3. Hey Ru-an, just a little correction now that I read your post the second time:
    They lost the second set at 5-3 30-0. Stan was serving for the second set and they got broken back and Kaz won that set, making it 2 sets up.
    But to be fair… it was Roger who lost the first game in the first set. So they both were equally responsible for losing the first 2 sets.
    Then they took a bathroom break where I think Roger either gave Stan some hope saying that they can turn it around or Roger told Stan that he was not going to lose this because of Stan. Whatever happened it worked. I personally believe that Roger gave Stan some tough tough love.
    And it worked, because they won the third set and almost the fourth set. Which was too bad because in the fourth set Stan was really trying and believing.
    Fistpumping Roger more and talking more to him. Roger and Stan played that fourth set SO SO great. They REALLY wanted to win. But the Kaz double team were playing the match of their life.
    Anyway, all is well and like Ronnie says, “Bromance is still on” :-)

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  4. Friends of this magnificent blog. Roger will play in Monte Carlo.
    Roger has accepted a wild card invitation to play in the Monte Carlo Masters after skipping the tournament for the past two years.

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    Veronica Reply:

    What is this?! Roger wanting to continue his fine form? Roger not wanting to take too long a break? Roger trying to break into SLOW clay? Roger trying to out sprint Nadal to be the first to win all Masters 1000? Roger planning to squeeze in as many tourneys as possible in anticipation of the paternity leave he would be taking soon? Good news! At least we won’t have a Rogerless month now, eh, Katyani?! Thanks Bartholomew for the info. I’m excited. Maybe this time Monte Carlo will be kinder to Roger and he won’t get slaughtered. Allez!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I seriously doubt he’ll get slaughtered Veronica. Even by Nadal. I’m really happy about this move or else his clay court season is too short. More rankings points up for grabs now too.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Great news Bartholomew. Thanks.

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  5. Really appreciate you putting up a post although you couldn’t watch a decent match on your stream, Ru-an! Thanks! It was a big let down when Stan couldn’t serve out the 3rd set but Roger is not blameless too as Katyani pointed out when he was broken in the first game of 1st set. But overall Stan was just terrible and I heard the Kazakhs were just targetting Stan in the doubles. Roger has really matured as we spoke about in your earlier posts. His demeanor on court and during the interviews for DC were beyond calm – not the denial or defiant kind of calm that characterised some of his past interviews after a tough loss; but this was pure serenity and such attractive quiet confidence. If you haven’t already watched Roger and Stan interview after they lost the doubles, you must. You wouldn’t think they were in big trouble from the interview. Roger has such a sensible head above those extrememly capable shoulders – shouldering a young family and the burden of expectations everyday. I was a bit lagging in things but after watching that interview, I was so inspired, I kicked into 5th gear! It’s never too late and there is always a silver lining no matter how dark the clouds. Roger has a unique ability to find and to see this silver lining that so many ordinary people like you and I just can’t seem to find sometimes. I think he would make a great coach (although he already stated coaching doesn’t interest him) I agree with Eric. Stan has nothing but respect, admiration and awe for Roger although deep inside him, I’m sure he does have some resentments/jealousy. Who wouldn’t when all of Switzerland only talks about Roger and even in interviews, poor Stan have to answer questions about Roger when it is Stan’s interview and not Roger’s! But Stan doesn’t talk bad about Roger and after he won AO, he couldn’t stop praising Roger – that Roger always wants the best for him, was the first one to congratulate him, always help him, that although he is now Swiss no. 1, Roger will always be Stan’s no. 1, etc. Stan has only spoken negatively once or twice about Roger’s lack of support for DC. Roger on the other hand, actually blamed Stan for their poor results in a DC tie played last year, I think, I don’t remember which country. But this DC against Kazahks, I see Roger cutting Stan some slack (although as Katyani said, I’m sure he gave Stan some tough love)and he never spoke a word about Stan letting the team down. In fact he thanked Stan for giving him a chance to play the 5th rubber and he was all positive about Stan playing better in the 4th rubber. I think Stan has passed the tough test of getting into Roger’s good books by winning a slam. It’s not easy to impress Roger Federer!! Ha! Roger lost to Nadal 3x in Monte Carlo but that was in his prime. Last couple of years he lost to Stan and Melzer. And with the turtle speed clay court, I’m not too confident Roger wouldn’t be slaughtered, Ru-an! Ha! But I wait to be surprised as how he surprised me in the “clay” courts of Miami! I think Mirka is due Madrid/Rome/FO stretch; that’s why he is playing Monte Carlo; get some free points, get his rank up and I suspect, he may even be sniffing at no. 1, you never know with Roger nowadays! One thing you can count on Roger doing these days is he surprises! Sometimes in the most unsuspecting times and in a most unconventional manner. Btw,don’t you think Golubev is such a good player and that he should be ranked higher?! So fearless, confident and holding his own, playing an away tie. I am very impressed. Mirka looks huge!! Is she popping anytime soon? And does the hugeness mean a pair of Baby Feds?!! Sorry, Ru-an, another “essay” for you!! But there are so many things to share!!! Maybe you should create another folder called, “Essay-type comments” and put all my comments there!! Then your readers who like short can fast track!! Hahaha!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Ronnie.

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey sweet sweet girl, your comment + + 1 :-) So true about Golubev. I mean come on, even our Goat was impressed by him. And that says a lot right??? By the way, maybe it is only me, but I love two opponents who play with a single backhand (like Roger vs Golubev, or matches between Roger, Stan, Tommy Haas, Gasquet, etc). It makes the match even, you know what I mean. More fair. Two guys playing the same type of tennis and it is not boring at all. I loved that Golubev and Roger play with one hand. They kind of played exactly the same. If Golubev was playing anyone else than Suisse, I would actually root for him :-) He seems like a nice guy (really different from the Kaz coach, one strict dude).
    Oh and the other guy who really impressed me was Fognini :-) I am really his fan. He is so so so weird, but oh my God, he played soooo amazing. Andy played really great, but he had almost no answers to Fognini. I cannot believe I underestimated him…

    Thank God Roger is playing MC, a Rogerless months is not cool, not cool at all :-)

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    veronica Reply:

    Thanks Katyani! Since you followed DC every match, you think Roger looks a tad tired? Older? Thinner? Must be taxing at home with the twins and Mirka heavily pregnant! Why Roger went and cut his hair again just when the curls were starting to show?! Afterall short hair didn’t bring him any luck last year! I think he looks so much better with his curls falling over, don’t you think so, Katyani?! And Fognini. Yeah, the lazy and nonchalant way he plays is unique and oddly attractive. He’s a great player and could have been more successful but…. the head. The head maybe not screwed on properly. Maybe it’s an Italian thing. After visiting Italy, I completely understand how Fognini functions in his head, haha!! I find him fun to watch but, no, not my favourite. And I agree with you; Golubev does play like Roger!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    And it’s nice to see you appreciating the post. It’s been a difficult time so making a post was quite challenging. This is why you are my favorite!!

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    veronica Reply:

    I know, Ru-an! If I were you, I wouldn’t bother posting when I’ve got so many things on my plate! You did well and you know we all appreciate it and as Joe put it so well, “pulling for you”! I think it’s good too that we kinda remind you of our presence and your “responsibility” towards us!! Haha! That way you are kept on your toes and you would have no time to feel negative, right?! Hahaha! Just kidding! I hope things are more settled now and you are on your way to getting a job. Over here unemployment is at an all time high; although casual/blue collar jobs can always be found. A lot of industries are closing down especially car industry. Looks like Australia is going back to the farms! haha!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Veronica I am currently working at the summer camp which is great experience which I can also put on my resume, so finding a job should be a breeze. There is a high demand for English teachers here so if you are motivated and enthusiastic it is quite easy to find a job!

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    veronica Reply:

    So happy for you, Ru-an! You teaching children or adults? Which do you prefer? I prefer adults. I used to teach part time to a group of adults who were all older than me! Scary! Haha!

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    Joe Reply:

    It’s an old American expression that sounded better at the time than another old American expression, “rooting for you.”

    ;-)

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  6. As I mentioned once before, my wife is Swiss and I spend a lot of time there. One thing I hear often from Swiss people ( who adore Roger) is a bit of disappointment that he hasn’t played more DC for Switzerland. Stan has really carried the flag for them so I’m not surprised nor bothered that Stan has really tried to push Roger to do something he deems very important. On so many occasions recently I have heard Stan say that it’s silly to talk of him as Swiss number one when Roger is the best ever to play the game. Tons of respect. He just wants his big brother to help him bring home the prize for Switzerland. And now w the AO win, he has helped to inspire Roger, and thus got him to join in the DC. PeRFect!!

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    Veronica Reply:

    Agree, Eric. Stan has been a great younger brother for Swiss tennis. It must not have been easy to perpetually live under Roger’s shadow; but Stan has done admirably well. Roger’s position with DC is unique compared to other slam winners as Switzerland doesn’t have luxury of a proper team. And as Roger often goes deep in tournaments, he can’t also play DC as well. Stan’s DC results are not exactly great and Roger often have to carry the burden alone when he plays DC. But without a doubt, Stan’s commitment to DC and his respect for Roger is faultless and his nudges at Roger regarding DC is understandable.

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  7. As a tennis fan after seeing Roger play D.C, in Australia the week after his defeat at U.S open, I
    would never question his decision to play or not. Stan is now realizing that having won a major you now have to contend with all the hype and all the media attention that goes with winning, and even more hype if you lose! It’s crazy to expect players
    of any calibre to play D.C. the week after a major and maybe have to fly half way round the world to do it. What if by chance Roger wins the U.S open and
    I think D.C. semis are the following week so as I have said before the Davis Cup for me is crazy. Much as I liked to watch the matches I really think
    it’s too much pressure for the players! Hi Ru-an be well.

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  8. Yeah, Elizabeth, DC dates and format don’t work although it’s great to watch. The tennis calendar is just too jam packed and no one wants to budge. I wonder whose brainchild it is, what their rationale was and if they can see whether it is still appropriate today with such gruelling professional schedules. Nobody seems to want to do away with it (or at least modify it to make it more manageable, eg best of 3 sets, etc) Nobody seems to want to play it. If tennis players themselves as much as say a word against it, they are immediately judged as selfish, unpatriotic. But I’m sure that in the life of a professional tennis player, DC will always be a burden for them; no matter how much they may try to say the right thing and declare it a pleasure to represent their country.

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  9. I would also add one other odd thing in Stan’s defense. The Swiss have a peculiar direct way of saying things that can be easily misinterpreted, as judgmental, or insulting even. I have seen it a million times. For example I could see someone saying to someone else at a dinner, maybe you should only have one piece of bread, you’re looking a little doughy. The don’t realize they’re being insulting, just stating a fact. Roger even does it from time to time. I remember a reporter asking him how he managed to win a match even though he wasn’t playing very well. And he said something like, well I’m a much superior athlete so I didn’t have to play well to will. Everyone thought it was so arrogant, but it was just him saying what’s so in a peculiar Swiss indelicate way. Maybe this was there in the comments you heard Stan make, Ru-an.

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  10. Hey guys, looking forward to Monte Carlo. Roger has a great chance to reach atleast the SF. After that… well… Novak…. playing in his backyard with his whole team present…. difficult… but doable. If somehow, he does beat Novak… well, guess who will be there in the final waiting for him???

    But, I have great hope that Roger will get far and why not even win it??? Sounds unrealistic, but Roger does enter tours to win, not to just get far in them.
    So…. having good hopes :-)
    Atleast we will not have to wait till the beginning of May to see him play…

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