With the United States Open firmly behind us, the focus now moves to the Davis Cup semi-finals, one of which is between Switzerland and Italy. Leading the Swiss charge is 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who will serve as the team’s top nomination. While Italy leads the head-to-head series 3-2 over their Swiss rivals, they will face a significantly tougher team this season with Federer and Wawrinka involved. Federer will begin the tie against Simone Bolelli, whom he holds a unblemished 2-0 head to head record against.
Although Federer successfully reached the semi-final round of the US Open this season, many considered it to be an overwhelming disappointment, since he had an opportunity to capture his 18th Major title without potentially facing a single competitor within the Top 10. With Djokovic’s exit hours before, Federer was expected to breeze through his next two matches, which was far from the case, as Marin Cilic produced a staggering upset when he ousted the five-time champion in straight sets.
Federer was arguably the most in-form of the Big Four heading into the US Open, which is why he was expected to outperform the remaining threats in the tournament. His loss to Cilic, however, was due to the big-serving Croat’s improvements rather than his own flaws.
Across the net from Federer will stand Simone Bolelli, who reached the second round of the US Open following an opening victory over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil. He would lose his following match to Germany’s Tommy Robredo.
Considering Federer leads the head-to-head series 2-0 against Bolelli, it is difficult to imagine a situation where the world No. 3 is threatened in this match-up. The Italian Davis Cup team is already disadvantaged by playing their semi-final on hard instead of clay, and match-ups against Wawrinka and Federer will only make matters worse.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets