After coming up short in his pursuit of an 18th Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open, Roger Federer now has his eyes set on one of the few prizes that have eluded him: a Davis Cup title.
The 33-year-old will lead Switzerland’s team -- which includes Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer -- against Italy in front of a home crowd in Geneva on September 12-14. This will be the country’s third semifinal in 86 years as the Swiss look to reach the final for the first time in 22 years.
“We have the opportunity to write history,” said Federer during a press conference in Geneva. “As a team, we haven’t had much success over the past 50 years. Hopefully they’ll talk about this tie in 20 years -- this is the dream for us, the players.”
Federer helped the Swiss team beat Kazakhstan in the previous round in April, but the closest the No. 3-rank has ever come to a Davis Cup title was 11 years ago, when Lleyton Hewitt defeated him after he held a two-sets lead. The last time Switzerland won a semifinal match in 1992 it was in the exact same venue -- Geneva’s Palexpo -- in front of thousands of Swiss fans.
Federer will open the series against Italy’s Simone Bolelli, followed by Stan Wawrinka, who will face Fabio Fognini. Saturday’s doubles match will be Federer and Wawrinka playing against Andreas Seppi and Paolo Lorenzi. The winner plays France or two-time defending champion Czech Republic in the final, which will be held November 21-23.