Federer set to face France in Davis Cup final

Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:19am EST
 
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By Julien Pretot

LILLE France (Reuters) - Switzerland's Roger Federer, who has been hampered by back problems, has been named to play in the second singles rubber of the Davis Cup final against France's Gael Monfils on Friday.

The 17-time grand slam champion, looking to give the Swiss a maiden title in the team competition, withdrew from the ATP World Tour final against Novak Djokovic in London last Sunday.

But the world number two was back in training on Thursday at Lille's Pierre Mauroy stadium, where the tie will be played indoors on clay in front of some 27,000 fans.

"Things have been going well out there this morning. I was really happy with the way I felt," Federer, who made his decision to play after Thursday's early practice session, told a news conference following the draw ceremony.

Asked if he was 100 percent fit, Federer said: "Only the match gives you the answer. I'm just pleased that I can play tomorrow, give it a go. Things have been going well."

Federer's inclusion did not surprise the French.

"It is not a surprise for us, we prepared ourselves to play against Roger and Stan," said France captain Arnaud Clement.

"He's had three days to rest and before that he played his best tennis (in London) so it's all good for him," said Monfils, who lost to Federer in five sets in the U.S. Open quarter-finals in September and has never beaten him in five matches on clay.   Continued...

 
Switzerland's Roger Federer (R) shakes hands with France's Gael Monfils during the draw for the Davis Cup final in Lille, northern France, November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol