Swiss praise for Bryan brothers' coach
LILLE, France (AP) Switzerland captain Severin Luthi's decision to hire Bob and Mike Bryan's coach to help his team prepare for the Davis Cup final doubles match proved to be a masterstroke.
The Swiss team appointed Dave Macpherson as a consultant ahead of the final against France, and his strategic advice paid off as Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka beat Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet in straight sets Saturday, giving Switzerland a 2-1 lead.
Macpherson is a former Australian player who has been mentoring the Bryans since 2005. The American twins finished at the top of the doubles rankings for a record 10th time this year, and for the sixth consecutive season.
''I think he's been very helpful for us. We had a good, long conversation about doubles. Not just yesterday and today, but in previous days,'' said Federer after the 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory. ''I'm so happy that Severin had the idea to contact David, and David was ready to jump onboard and help us.''
Federer and Wawrinka, who won Olympic gold together in 2008, ended a four-game losing streak in the Davis Cup at the right time, securing their first doubles win on clay.
They played aggressively from the start against the French pair, taking their chance on every weak second ball and bossing exchanges at the net with a commanding presence.
''I think we were perfectly prepared,'' said Federer. ''Obviously you have to be able to execute it. I think Stan did that unbelievably well today. I tried to keep up. Severin kept us motivated and going. It was a cool last sort of 24 hours.''
The French decided to send Gasquet and Benneteau for the doubles after resting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for Sunday's reverse singles. But Luthi said all their opponents' options had been carefully analyzed.
''We talked about the possibilities the French have,'' Luthi said. ''I think it was a big advantage that David knows all the French players, doubles players in general well ... It was a great preparation.''