ROGER FEDERER said yesterday that he remains confident his back will cope with the rigours of Davis Cup tennis after he was passed fit to represent Switzerland when they take on France in this weekend’s final.
The 33-year-old was forced to pull out of last Sunday’s ATP World Tour Finals showdown with Novak Djokovic through injury, raising doubts about his participation in this weekend’s tie in Lille.
However, the world number two took part in practice sessions on Wednesday and yesterday — enough to persuade Swiss team captain Severin Luthi to risk his star player in the singles rubbers, with Gael Monfils his opponent on Friday.
Federer himself knows the only way to find out whether his back is on the mend is by testing it out on court.
“Only the match gives you the answer. I’m just pleased that I can play on Friday, give it a go,” he said.
“I am not taking a huge risk by playing. I have confidence in my body, I am optimistic. Things have been going well.
“It’s a difficult match regardless. Because of the crowd, because of the opponent. Gael Monfils is a very good player.
“But things have been going well out there in practice. I was really happy with the way I felt.”
Federer’s meeting with Monfils is the second match on court at Stade Pierre Mauroy, with Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka set to kickstart Switzerland’s challenge against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Tomorrow’s doubles will see French duo Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet take on Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer, before the singles rubbers are reversed on Sunday.
Switzerland have never won the Davis Cup, although they came close in 1992 when they finished runners-up to the United States.