With the United States Open firmly behind us, the focus now moves to the Davis Cup semi-finals, which feature two intriguing ties, the first between France and the Czech Republic, while the second is between Switzerland and Italy. The event will feature three Top 10 players, two of which will spearhead the Swiss team (Federer & Wawrinka), while the third (Tomas Berdych) will attempt to lead his country to their third consecutive Davis Cup title.
Switzerland vs. Italy (Palexpo – Hard, Indoor)
Switzerland: Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli, and Michael Lammer
Italy: Fabio Fognini, Andreas Seppi, Paolo Lorenzi and Simone Bolelli.
Living up to his promise earlier in the year, Roger Federer will headline the Swiss Davis Cup team’s semi-final match-up against their upcoming formidable challengers, Italy. The Swiss trail the head-to-head series 3-2 but won their most recent two meetings (1999, 2009). Federer will now be looking to make it three in a row against the Italians.
“We obviously are favorites,” Federer said. “We have a formidable team. We are playing at home and we chose the surface. We can do it.”
While it would appear that a team with two Top 5 competitors would surely outplay a team led by world No. 17 Fabio Fognini, this could turn out to be a more competitive tie than many would have assumed. While Federer and Wawrinka were present in the Swiss tie against Kazakhstan, they needed all five rubbers to secure the victory, which came as a surprise to most. Although playing on home soil, they will need to quickly grasp the lead and no fall on their reserve players Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer.
The Italian team also needed to rally from a 2-1 deficit on Day 3 of their Davis Cup quarter-final tie against Great Britain, where Fognini was able to overcome Andy Murray to see his team into the semi-finals.
Assuming Fognini and Seppi will take the two singles rubbers for their country, they will still have a hard time ousting the likes of Federer or Wawrinka. Either Swiss player could have an off day similar to what happened against Kazakhstan, yet it is highly unlikely that they will lose the tie to their Italian counterparts.
Prediction: Switzerland def. Italy 4-1