Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Federer Relieved to Be Dodging 'Horrible' Tim and Greg Threat

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Federer Relieved to Be Dodging 'Horrible' Tim and Greg Threat

Article excerpt


ROGER FEDERER made one last call to his great friend Tim Henman before heading to Geneva for Switzerland's Davis Cup World Group qualifying clash with Great Britain which starts today.

Federer wanted to make sure Henman had not come out of Davis Cup retirement to turn the tie into what the greatest player in the world would have considered a "horrible draw for us."

Henman confirmed that, after 10 years of national service, his Cup days were over, leaving Federer with the belief that a British team of Greg Rusedski, Andy Murray, Alan Mackin and David Sherwood hold no worries for the Swiss.

"I wanted to double check with Tim that he wasn't coming back," said the Wimbledon and US Open champion. "If Tim and Greg had been in the team it would have been a horrible draw but it is now simple. Well, it was until Andy Murray started playing so well and he has made it a different challenge."

Whoever wins this tie will go into the 16-strong elite World Group and all the money is on the Swiss thanks to Federer, who has agreed to play two singles ties and partner Yves Allegro in tomorrow's doubles.

Jeremy Bates, the GB captain, has opted to surprise the Swiss by keeping Rusedski, the world No29, back for the doubles alongside Murray and the final singles match on Sunday against Stanislas Wawrinka, the World No60.

Bates is banking on Murray beating Wawrinka today and then helping Rusedski win the doubles to leave Britain needing just a single win from the reverse singles on Sunday.

It's a major gamble that Bates felt was worth taking given the threat posed by Federer, who will be odds on to ease through both his singles matches against Mackin and Murray.

The only hope Bates can cling to is that Federer has been beaten twice on clay this year by teenagers Raphael Nadal and Richard Gasquet. …

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