Last week, while discussing about Roger Federer's proposed 2014 Tennis schedule, I discussed how I got feedback from all my Facebook, Twitter, G plus mates to discuss if Roger Federer should play Davis Cup in 2014 or not?
But, since the results of that unofficial poll was hard to be compiled at one place, so, I am hereby starting a new poll, feel free to participate in the poll or drop a comment below to let the whole world know, what you think, should Roger Federer play Davis Cup in 2014 or not?
Okay, before we start the discussion, let us quickly have a look at a petition which a website CartonRouge.ch & an agency named 'Pardon Madame' started on Cartonrouge.ch website.
The petition is titled, "Go Roger, bring the Davis Cup bowl."
An edit by CartonRouge in association with Pardon Madame showing Roger Federer with an enlarged Davis Cup title trophy
Let me clarify in clear words, I am neither associated with CartonRouge in any way, nor I am connected with Pardon Madame in any way. I have been a big critic of this petition & was the first to tweet against them as soon as this petition was started.
As per their latest Facebook post, they have got 500+ petition signatories till now & in their petition, where in they are requesting Federer to play Davis Cup in 2014, they have stated that since Stan Wawrinka is now a top 10 player, so, Roger Federer along with Wawrinka could have won Davis Cup easily had team SUI (Switzerland) defeated Czech Republic in February, 2013 as even Wawrinka defeated Tomas Berdych thrice in 2013.
The arguments given by them asking Roger Federer to play in 2014 Davis Cup ::
(i) Stan Wawrinka being in Top form & if Czech Republic could win Davis Cup with just two players (Tomas Berdych & Radek Stepanek), so can Team Switzerland.
(ii) Federer has won every thing except Davis Cup, so, he should try to win Davis Cup in 2014 as that will further enhance his status as the greatest Swiss Sporting Icon.
(iii) Federer in 2009 had described Davis Cup as being of utmost importance to him, so, he should try to win it in 2014.
Now, let us have a quick look at the past performances of Roger Federer in Davis Cup since his Davis Cup debut in 1999 ---
In the last 15 years, Roger Federer has played 39 singles & 19 Doubles matches winning 43 of those 58 matches
Roger Federer has played Davis Cup every year (except 2010 & 2013) since his Davis Cup debut in 1999. You read it right, in the last 15 years, Roger Federer has played Davis Cup for Team Switzerland for 13 years.
Yes, there have been occasional ties which Roger Federer has missed because of back issues (1st round ties in 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005).
To make it simple for you all, Team Switzerland has played 30 Ties in the last 15 years & Roger Federer has played in 22 of those. You can see the entire record of Roger Federer at all Davis Cup ties on the official website of Davis Cup right here.
Since, his debut in 1999, Roger Federer has played in 74% of the ties that Team Switzerland has played in these last 15 years.
All these above stats prove that Federer has given his full commitment to Davis Cup & all those critics who question him on those issues, should please do a fact check & then comment.
In February, 2013, ITF announced a Davis Cup commitment award to Roger Federer. Read more about it here.
Should Roger Federer play in Davis Cup 2014?
As we discussed above, for a man who has given so much recognition, fame to Swiss Tennis, this decision should be solely taken by Roger Federer. No PR agency even if it is based in Switzerland has the right to put pressure on Roger Federer by putting up such petitions as we discussed above.
Here are the arguments which according to me are the biggest hurdles in Roger Federer deciding to play Davis Cup in 2014 -
(i) The 1st Round of Davis Cup starts from 31st January, 2014 or just 4 days after Australian Open. Roger Federer will be starting the 2014 season from Brisbane International starting from 30th December, 2013.
So, Federer will be reaching Australia at least 3 or 4 days before the start of Brisbane International. If Federer manages to reach the finals of Australian Open, 2014, that would mean a stay of almost 30 days in Australia from 26th December, 2013 to 26th January, 2014.
As Switzerland will be playing 1st Round tie vs Serbia at Belgrade, so traveling all the way to Belgrade after an one month stay won't be an easy task.
(ii) The 2nd Round of Davis Cup is from 4th April to 6th April, 2014. That means, the 2nd Round of Davis Cup is 19 days after Indian Wells or just 4 days after Miami Masters. Though, as we have been discussing in the proposed 2014 schedule of Roger Federer, he is unlikely to play in Miami in 2014, so, if Team Switzerland manages to reach 2nd Round, that would mean that it would be impossible for Roger Federer to have a break after Indian Wells.
(iii) Though, Roger Federer showed signs of returning back to full fitness during his performances at Basel, Bercy Masters & World Tour Finals, 2013, but, his back pain issue still is a big enough issue to be considered while thinking about playing in Davis Cup in 2014.
Though, as I said above, no one other than Roger Federer has the right to take decision on whether he should play at Davis Cup, 2014 or not, but, in my humble opinion, it will be better if Roger Federer decides to skip Davis Cup or takes the decision to play in the 1st Round of Davis Cup, 2014 after seeing how he is feeling while playing in the initial matches at Australian Open, 2014.
Roger Federer was asked the question of having Davis Cup in his schedule during the World Group play off tie vs Netherlands in September, 2012 & he had stated, "My schedule is always open for Davis Cup, though, I don't know, if I am 100% sure to play. I'm not 23 any more, a lot happening in my life. So, have to prioritize."
What do you guys think, should Federer play Davis Cup, 2014? Do participate in the poll & feel free to comment below.
Update: On 28th December, 2013, schedule has been released & Roger Federer won't be playing Davis Cup in 2014.
See the whole schedule right here.