miércoles, 5 de noviembre de 2008

Federer to play for Switzerland in Davis Cup vs. U.S.

Federer to play for Switzerland in Davis Cup vs. U.S.

GENEVA -- Roger Federer ended speculation over his Davis Cup plans and announced Tuesday he will play for Switzerland against the United States next March.

It will be the first time in five years that the 13-time Grand Slam singles winner has broken up his early season schedule for the Davis Cup.

"I am excited to once again join my fellow Swiss teammates, who I have a great friendship with," Federer said on his Web site. "I look forward to what I am sure will be a tough weekend."

The World Group first-round series will be played March 6-8 in the U.S. at a venue to be chosen by the United States Tennis Association in the next six weeks.

Federer's participation is expected to draw more bidders hoping to host the matches.

"It has added a new dynamic and it has piqued interest around the country," USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said.

Federer helped Switzerland rejoin the elite World Group when it beat Belgium last month.

He beat Kristof Vliegen in straight sets, then teamed with Stanislas Wawrinka, his Olympic doubles gold medal-winning partner in Beijing, to win their doubles match.

Federer last played a Davis Cup first-round match in 2004, a victory over Romania in Bucharest.

"We are obviously very pleased that he decided he will be joining the team," Swiss Tennis spokeswoman Sandra Perez said. "That increases our chances."

Swiss officials were hopeful Federer would face the U.S. because his tournament schedule takes him to California immediately after the Davis Cup for the March 9-22 Indian Wells tournament.

"Probably if we were playing the tie in Australia that would have been a little bit more difficult," Perez said.

Switzerland and the U.S. have split two Davis Cup meetings.

In 2001, Federer won three points -- including singles victories over Todd Martin and Jan-Michael Gambill -- when Switzerland beat the United States in the first round in his home city of Basel.

The U.S. beat the Swiss in the 1992 final at Fort Worth, Texas, with Andre Agassi and Jim Courier playing singles and John McEnroe and Pete Sampras in doubles.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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