Following a surprising turn of event in the first two days of the Switzerland-Kazakhstan Davis Cup tie, which saw the Kazakhs stun Federer and Wawrinka’s Swiss team in the doubles rubber to take a 2-1 lead in the quarter-final. Coupled with Wawrinka’s shocking loss in the singles rubber on Friday, this leaves the Swiss team with absolutely no margin for error come Day 3. Roger Federer will take part in the fifth and final rubber, where he will meet Andrey Golubev for the first time on the professional tour.
The Swiss Davis Cup team, heavily favoured coming into the event, have been faced with a difficult Day 3, as Wawrinka and Federer will both need wins to reach the semi-finals. While much can be said about Wawinka’s performances this weekend, Federer has looked quite fit and able so far, winning his first singles rubber, and performing relatively well in the doubles tie on Saturday. With his serving looking sharp so far, he will likely hold a a strong advantage over Golubev, who gave the Swiss team all they could handle in the doubles ties today.
“[Golubev] has been the man of the match in the singles and doubles, he’s played great,” said Federer. “He’s been mentally really calm, confident and serene. I’ve been very impressed by him. He made the difference in the doubles.”
While lady luck has not favoured them so far, Federer is certain that they will be able to turn the tides on Kazakhstan on the third day, as both himself and Wawrinka are big favourites to win their matches.
“It is down to us to prove that we did take the right decisions, that we are still good players and we are still the favourites for each of the singles [rubbers] tomorrow. We have no more margin for error and we are aware of that, and maybe that will actually make us play better, so I am actually very excited for tomorrow.”
Andrey Golubev and partner Aleksandr Nedovyesov were responsible giving the Kazakh team a 2-1 lead heading into the third day, particularly Golubev, who upset Wawrinka in the first rubber, and helped give his team a 2-1 lead on Saturday. Arguably the man of the tournament so far, Golubev will be looking for a fitting culmination to his dream-like weekend in Geneva.
While it would have been farfetched to consider Golubev a possible winner in this match prior to this weekend’e events, it has become a much more understandable suggestion. While he has been an inspirational force for his team, it is unlikely he will defeat the 17-time Grand Slam champion. It could be a hard-fought battle, as he will likely look to put up a valiant effort, yet it will ultimately end in Federer’s favour.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Four Sets