DAVIS CUP 2014
Federer, Wawrinka Spearhead Swiss Challenge
World Group, Quarter-finals
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com previews the Davis Cup quarter-final ties, which take place from 4-6 April.
SWITZERLAND VS. KAZAKHSTAN
Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland (Hard, Indoor)
Led by Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer, Switzerland looks to reach the Davis Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2003 (l. to Australia) when it takes on Kazakhstan in Geneva. As Switzerland’s No. 1 player, Australian Open champion Wawrinka opens the tie against Andrey Golubev before Federer takes on Mikhail Kukushkin. Wawrinka and Federer then join up in Saturday’s doubles rubber before the reverse singles on Sunday.
"It can feel strange for everybody when you have Roger in the team and he's number two!" said Wawrinka. "But that's because I played so well at the beginning of the season winning my first Grand Slam, but Roger is back playing good tennis.
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"We're big favourites on paper, but we know it will be a tough one. We are ready for the three days. It will be a great atmosphere and I will use it to help me."
Switzerland is out for revenge, having lost its only previous clash with Kazakhstan in 2010, 5-0. Kazakhstan competed in the World Group for the first time in 2011 and is looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time, following quarter-final exits in 2011 and 2013.
FRANCE VS. GERMANY
Venue: Palais Des Sports Jean Weille, Nancy, France (hard - indoor)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga leads France’s bid to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2011. The 28 year old has a 14-3 Davis Cup singles record and will look to record his sixth straight win when he faces World No. 119 Peter Gojowczyk in the second match on Friday. Julien Benneteau, who stepped in to replace the injured Richard Gasquet, opens the tie against Tobias Kamke.
Michael Llodra and Gael Monfils join forces in the doubles against Andre Begemann and Kamke before Sunday’s reverse singles. Germany has not beaten France in the Davis Cup since 1938. The three-time champion is bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2007.
"It's going to be a tough match, even though they don't have their best players available," said Tsonga, referencing the absence of Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber from the German line-up.
"I don't know anything at all about Gojowczyk," admitted Tsonga, "that's why it's complicated. But I know he's a good player; he had good results at the beginning of the year. The main thing for me is to be very focused on my game and try to play the best tennis I can."
Read Davis Cup Preview: Italy vs. Great Britain, Japan vs. Czech Republic