Amidst, all the speculations whether Roger Federer will play Davis Cup in 2014 or not, Roger Federer along with Stanislas Wawrinka and Team Switzerland's Davis Cup captain Severin Luthi has reached Novi Sad for playing the 1st Round tie vs Team Serbia from Friday, 31st January, 2014.
Stan Wawrinka, Severin Luthi and Roger Federer in Novi Sad
As reported by B92, President of Tennis Federation of Serbia, Milan Svakovic was expecting only Stan Wawrinka & when he saw some one in a jacket & a cap, he asked, "You look like Roger Federer." Federer smiled, took off his cap & answered, "I am actually Roger Federer."
Roger Federer went almost unrecognized at the Belgrade airport as no one was expecting him
The Swiss ambassador was present at the Belgrade airport to welcome the team & straight away, Federer & Wawrinka started their journey to Novi Sad. Novi Sad is about 95 kms from Belgrade & the Team Switzerland will be staying at hotel in Novi Sad.
As per Davis Cup Rules- Teams for Davis Cup have to be announced 10 days in advance before a Davis Cup tie. In the Swiss Davis Cup team that was announced on 21st January, 2014, the following four players featured --
Stanislas Wawrinka (Ranked #8 then, now after Australian Open, 2014, ranked #3)
Marco Chiudinelli (Ranked 180)
Henri Laaksonen (231) and
Michael Lammer (441)
But, how ever Davis Cup rules further stipulate that teams can replace maximum of two players until one hour before the draw of that particular tie takes place.
As reported by Simon Graf in his BazOnline report, Swiss Tennis president René Stammbachstrasse had stated that he would leave no stone unturned & try his level best to make Roger Federer play Davis Cup. He had asked Federer's coach and Swiss Team Davis Cup captain Severin Luthi to ask Roger Federer to play in the Davis Cup.
Roger Federer accepted the request & has reached Novi Sad for playing the Davis Cup Round 1 tie vs Team Serbia.
Here's how Roger Federer's Vapor 9.5 shoes for the Davis Cup 2014 tie will look like ----
Picture tweeted by Roger Federer
Will Novak Djokovic play in the 1st Round Tie vs Team Switzerland?
Though, team Serbia can also change two players up to 12 pm CET on Thursday, 30th January, 2014. The draw is at 13 CET on Thursday.
Novak Djokovic is in Belgrade these days & enjoying his holidays.
A picture posted by Novak Djokovic on his facebook with the message -- This is what is left of the wall where I practiced as a boy with my first coach Jelena Gencic... After 15 years i came here again to revisit my childhood memories. Too bad the bombs destroyed most of if. But i'm still happy and grateful for all the experiences and lessons i learned while growing up on this mountain
So, it remains to be seen, if Djokovic will agree to play Davis Cup, though, the chances at this point of time look negligible in my humble opinion.
Roger Federer had last played Davis Cup in September, 2012 at Amsterdam where he had helped Team SUI to stay in the Davis Cup world group by winning both his singles matches. Though, it remains to be seen if Roger Federer will be able to play in the Quarter-Final tie in April, 2014 or not, but, here is the probable draw of TEAM Switzerland if they manage to beat Team Serbia.
Quarter-Final (4th to 6th April, 2014) --- vs the winner of Belgium vs Kazakhstan
Semi-final (12th to 14th September, 2014) vs the winner of the Team Great Britain or USA vs Italy or Argentina.
Final (21st to 23rd November, 2014) - vs Team Czech Republic or Netherlands or Spain or Germany or France or Australia who are in the other half of the draw.