set to face France in Davis Cup final
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[November 20, 2014]
By Julien Pretot
LILLE France (Reuters) - Switzerland's
Roger Federer, who has been hampered by back problems, has been named to
play in the second singles rubber of the Davis Cup final against
France's Gael Monfils on Friday.
The 17-time grand slam champion, looking to give Switzerland
their maiden title in the team competition, withdrew from the ATP
World Tour final against Novak Djokovic in London last Sunday.
But the world number was back in training on Thursday at Lille's
Pierre Mauroy stadium, where the tie will be played indoors on clay
in front of some 27,000 fans.
Federer's inclusion in the draw did not surprise the French.
"It is not a surprise for us, we prepared ourselves to play against
Roger and Stan," France captain Arnaud Clement told a news
conference after the draw ceremony.
"He's had three days too rest and before that he played his best
tennis (in London) so it's all good for him," said Monfils, who lost
to Federer in five sets in the U.S. Open quarter-finals in September
and has never beaten him in five matches on clay.
Switzerland's world number four Stan Wawrinka will open proceedings
against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday in what is expected to be a
"We always play close matches, determination will be the key," said
Tsonga, who has a 3-2 record against Wawrinka.
Switzerland captain Severin Luthi named Marco Chiudinelli and
Michael Lammer to play in Saturday's doubles against Julien
Benneteau and Richard Gasquet but he has until one hour before the
start of the match to change his lineup.
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Federer will face Tsonga in the reverse singles with Wawrinka
playing Monfils in the potentially deciding fifth match.
France are trying to win the Davis Cup for the 10th time, having
last lifted the title in 2001. They lost in their last two finals
against Russia in 2002 and Serbia in 2010.
The team led by Clement beat holders Czech Republic in the
semi-finals while Switzerland defeated Italy.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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