• Federer opens Davis Cup tie for Switzerland

    9/14/12 1:37 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer opens Davis Cup tie for Switzerland Roger Federer is back in action for the Swiss Davis Cup squad this weekend in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The world No. 1 hopes to get his country off to a fast start in the opener against Thiemo De Bakker.

    Roger Federer is once again coming to the rescue to save Switzerland from Davis Cup relegation, looking instead to put his team back in the World Group for 2013. Federer will lead the Swiss on the road this weekend at the Netherlands.

    The world No. 1 will kick off the tie on Friday afternoon against Thiemo De Bakker on the clay courts of Amsterdam. The first-ever meeting between the two players will be followed by a rubber between Stanislas Wawrinka and Robin Haase.

    Federer is coming off a disappointing quarterfinal finish at the U.S. Open, where he was upset by Tomas Berdych in four sets. The 17-time Grand Slam champion, though, still had a great summer. He captured another Wimbledon title then reached the London Olympics final before going down to Andy Murray. Federer is 59-8 for his 2012 campaign, which includes six titles.

    De Bakker was injured for much of 2011 and he is toiling down at No. 159 in the world rankings, a far cry from the career-high of 40th that he reached in 2010. The Dutchman has spent most of his time this season at the Futures and Challenger level. After losing in the first round of U.S. Open qualifying, De Bakker won a Futures title last week in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

    "For sure I have to take some risks," De Bakker assured. "Because what else can you do? At least I'll try to make (Federer) work as hard as possible for it. I'm hitting the ball OK. So I have some confidence."

    "Obviously we've been on faster courts for some time now," Federer cautioned. "Now we’re looking at a very slow clay court, outdoors, potentially in cold conditions. It's a matter of getting through and not losing, me being the overwhelming favorite in most of the matches."

    The conditions did not help Federer even at home when he lost to John Isner this spring and saw the host Swiss fall to the United States. But this is a different situation and De Bakker is no Isner. Switzerland should be well on its way to next year's World Group after a straight-set victory for Federer.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
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