Rene Stammbach, the president of the Swiss Tennis Association, wants answers from Roger after the Swiss was whitewashed 5-0 over the weekend by Borat’s country Kazakhstan. This loss means the Swiss falls out of the world group, which is bad for a country who has players like Roger and Wawrinka. I think it’s understandable that the Swiss wants an answer from Roger. But of course this doesn’t come at the best time for Roger. Nadal has just completed the career slam and some people are already hyping him to be the next GOAT. Here is a message from Roger at RF.com:
I have decided not to join the Davis Cup team to Kazakhstan. I need some extra time to relax after the intense weeks in North America so I can finish the year strong.
See you soon,
Last year he actually played a lot more than this year, and still found time to play Davis Cup. But it is also understandable that he wants to end the year strong after a mediocre summer by his own high standards. And now his country is questioning his loyalty. But you can’t blame Stammbach. Being relegated from the world group is a new low for Swiss tennis and if Roger played the weekend they probably would have avoided that. When things go wrong for you they often seem to keep getting worse. For instance if Roger won the US Open there would be none of these problems now. But now he is in a tricky situation. He must decide whether he is going to be committed to Davis Cup or decide once and for all to focus on his own career.
The Swiss has a right to want an answer, but at the same time Roger has already done so much for Swiss tennis that he really doesn’t owe them anything. Knowing Roger he will probably want to give them an answer out of courtesy, and if he doesn’t then they will lose some respect for him, even though they won’t say it. But what does he say? He needs to decide once and for all whether winning the Davis Cup is important to him. It’s come to a point now where he either has to commit or cut all ties with Davis Cup. Given the threat that Nadal now poses to his GOAT status, Davis Cup may just get in the way in the future. As always it comes down to what is more important, his own career or his country. I have always thought that when he does well in his own career then it is good for his country anyway.
So my answer is that he should give up Davis Cup and just focus on staying the GOAT, which in return would benefit his country. If however he fails to remain the GOAT, then his country will suffer as a result while the Davis Cup would have suffered in his absence as well. It’s not a simple decision.