GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: The Swiss duo of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka has it all to do at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarterfinal in Geneva, after they were stunned 64 76(5) 46 76(6) by the Kazakhstan doubles team of Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Andrey Golubev.
“It’s a great feeling. It’s like a dream I must say because we are playing against the Swiss in Switzerland,” said the Kazakh captain Dias Doskarayev.
“I told the guys before the match miracles may happen but you have to believe in miracles and today we had to play fantastic. We had to play aggressive, we had to play great but of course we needed to expect mistakes from the Swiss team.
“Stan was a bit nervous, pressure got to him; this is Davis Cup and our guy Nedovyesov showed himself really well under pressure, but being 2-1 against Switzerland is nothing going into Sunday. It has to be a reality check in the back of our minds. We still have two singles to go and anything may happen. We have to keep motivating our guys.”
The Kazakhs seemed to show no fear on the court and they went on the attack from the first point as Roger Federer found out. His serve was broken and the visitors hung on to that break for the entire set. They were barely threatened and with Nedovyesov serving for the set, the Swiss were under pressure.
On set point the ball came to Wawrinka; it was on his backhand, a shot he plays so beautifully, but it was not the case on this occasion. The Swiss No. 1 instead drilled it into the bottom of the net – it was a disappointing return to say the least.
Federer and Wawrinka kept up the fight but it was becoming obvious that Federer was needing to take charge more. Wawrinka’s game was not having a good day. In the sixth game they broke Golubev after he unsuccessfully challenged the call. The crowd had been waiting for such a moment to really unleash their passion.
Construction certificates for the Palexpo are certainly not needed because this partisan, but highly respectful crowd, proved the building was sound; there was no sign of the roof being blown off with the level of noise.
However the advantage was short-lived because Wawrinka lost his serve when he sent a backhand wide when trying to close out the set 5-3. The teams went to a tiebreak and Kazakhstan gained an immediate mini-break on Wawrinka’s serve.
The visitors were soon leading 5-2 but the Swiss did manage to balance things at 5-5. Golubev served to gain a set point, which his team won when Federer played a poor volley to lose the breaker.
“[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.”
The Swiss left the court for some time for a bathroom break. There was a bit more bounce in their step when they returned and they broke Nedovyesov in the fifth game; five games later and Switzerland was on the scoreboard with a set. Federer made a graceful leap to put an overhead away.
Needless to say the crowd was beside itself as their chanting and stomping reverberated around the facility. Locals could rest assure it was not an earthquake.
“It was a great atmosphere on court but it was tough to lose the doubles,” said Wawrinka. “For me it was good to play a lot of tennis the last two days even if it was two difficult days but I’m going to be ready and I know what to do to win.”
The fourth set was highly competitive but the Swiss euphoria was not to last. Golubev and Nedovyesov saved a set point to make it 6-6 and Nedovyesov made it match point on his serve.
Federer was trying to save the situation but a return Golubev got on his racquet strings allowed him to direct the ball right at Wawrinka who was at the net; in trying to defend himself, he lost the point and match.
“I’m not overly worried about what happened the last couple of days,” said Federer. “We knew the Kazakhs have been playing well in Davis Cup the last few years now. So it’s for us now to shine and prove (ourselves).
“We are good players and we are the favourites still for each singles reverse match but we have no more margin for error so we are aware of that and, who knows, that’s maybe going to make us play even better, so I’m really excited about tomorrow.”
Follow this tie as it happens: Live Scores or Watch Live
Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) - 05/04/2014
Captain Severin Luthi (SUI) - 05/04/2014
Andrey Golubev/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) - 05/04/2014
Captain Dias Doskarayev (KAZ) - 05/04/2014