Roger Federer revealed yesterday that he played a part in choosing the surface of indoor clay for Switzerland’s Davis Cup clash with the USA next year – but still refused to confirm that he will play.
The World Group first-round tie will take place in the town of Fribourg on February 10-12 next year and it was no real surprise that the Swiss have chosen clay, considering that the USA have won seven of their past eight ties on surfaces other than the red stuff.
“I was part of the decision, so obviously it is the right choice,” Federer joked, after his semi-final victory against compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka at the Swiss Indoors in Basle. “Otherwise, I am a bad guy if I say it is a bad decision.
“Clay is the right choice as it takes the more dangerous guys out of the equation for them. They already have good players, but they are very good indoors or on hard, and I think clay makes the trip that much tougher for them.
“I believe it plays in our favour, especially for Stan. And if I do play, I can play on anything anyway, so we all thought, after no hesitation, that it was the right choice.”
The 16-time grand slam champion has not played in a World Group first-round tie since 2004, but considering that a Swiss Davis Cup victory is one of the few things missing from his list of achievements in tennis, it is expected that he will fully commit himself next year in an effort to help his country win the competition for the first time in its history.
But Federer is holding off making any announcement on his participation at the moment.
He said: “I still haven’t decided on my schedule at the start of next year yet. I am still putting everything together but I hope I can announce something in the next couple of weeks.”
Next year’s first-round of Davis Cup ties are being held three weeks earlier than usual, scheduled for a fortnight after the Australian Open and immediately before the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam, a tournament which Federer has already committed to playing.
But the Swiss denied that the change in the calendar would affect his decision, saying that it was more a “matter of priorities”.