Switzerland Davis Cup team
|Highest ITF ranking||2 (24 November 2014)|
|Colors||Red & white|
|Ties played (W–L)||160 (76–84)|
|Davis Cup titles||1 (2014)|
|Most total wins||Roger Federer (52–18)|
|Most singles wins||Roger Federer (40–8)|
|Most doubles wins||Jakob Hlasek (15–10)|
|Best doubles team||Jakob Hlasek/
Marc Rosset (7–5)
Heinz Günthardt (7–5)
|Most ties played||Heinz Günthardt (30)|
|Most years played||Heinz Günthardt
Roger Federer (15)
In 2007, Switzerland competed in the World Group for the 13th consecutive year – the third longest ongoing streak – before being relegated after losing 3–2 against the Czech Republic.
Current squad (2015 World Group final)
|Player||Current Ranking||First year played||Total Win/Loss||Singles Win/Loss||Doubles Win/Loss|
Switzerland competed in its first Davis Cup in the 1923. They won the Davis Cup title for the first time in 2014, defeating France in the final by three rubbers to one, Roger Federer's victory over Richard Gasquet in the first reverse singles rubber clinching the title for the Swiss.
- Roland Stadler (1991–1992)
- Tim Sturdza (1992–1993)
- Stephane Oberer (1994–1998)
- Claudio Mezzadri (1999)
- Jakob Hlasek (2000–2001)
- Ivo Heuberger (2002)
- Marc Rosset (2002–2005, as playing captain 2002–2003)
- Severin Lüthi (2005-)
Tennis became extremely popular in Switzerland in 1992. First, Marc Rosset and Jakob Hlasek won the 1992 French Open title in doubles. Marc Rosset went on to win the Olympics singles title in Barcelona. The Davis Cup campaign completed this exceptional year for Swiss tennis. The team was led by Marc Rosset and Jakob Hlasek and completed by Claudio Mezzadri and Thierry Grin. It lost the final 3-1 to a tough United States team consisting of Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, and John McEnroe.
After a comfortable 4-1 win against the Netherlands in The Hague, Switzerland traveled to the Arena of Nîmes to play France on clay in the quarterfinals. The Roman amphitheater was semi-covered for this event. Switzerland won 3-2 and recorded its first victory against a French team when Jakob Hlasek scored the decisive point against French clay-court specialist Thierry Champion.
The semifinal against Brazil (won 5-0) in the Geneva Palexpo established a new world record for the largest attendance at an indoor tennis event at that time (15,000 people). The tie was played on an extremely fast Taraflex court, which favoured the fast serving Marc Rosset against Brazilian players traditionally used to play on much slower clay courts. Brazil had shocked Germany and Italy in the previous rounds, both played in Brazil. The Swiss team was mostly concerned about Jaime Oncins, who was featuring a 9-0 record in Davis Cup before the semifinal. Oncins had also reached the quarterfinals of the Olympics a few months earlier. Oncins did not win a single set in Geneva. The tie was decided after the doubles rubber with a straight-set win by Hlasek and Rosset against the experienced pair of Fernando Roese and Cássio Motta.
|Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland
25–27 September 1992
The final was played in Fort Worth, Texas. Switzerland fired their captain Roland Stadler after the semifinals for reasons which remain unclear. He was replaced by former player and multiple Swiss champion Tim Sturdza. Andre Agassi put the USA 1-0 ahead with a very clear win over Jakob Hlasek in which Hlasek only won a total of five games in three sets. Marc Rosset levelled the game with a hard-fought win over Jim Courier, whom he had beaten in the Olympics the same year. The doubles proved to be the turning point of the tie. After the Swiss won the two first sets 7-6, John McEnroe managed to fire up Pete Sampras, who had been hardly there during the two first sets. The USA won the third set 7-5, and then took the two remaining sets easily. On Sunday, Courier secured the title for the USA with a four-set win against Hlasek.
|Tarrant County Center, Fort Worth, United States
4–6 December 1992
The fifth rubber between Andre Agassi and Marc Rosset was not played. Annoyed by Agassi's behaviour during the tie (especially some alleged verbal aggression against Hlasek), Rosset later stated that he was ready to "explode Agassi" in the fifth rubber and that this would have been the kind of game that would have excited him a lot. One year later, Rosset faced Agassi in Indian Wells and beat him.
The Swiss team in 2003 had the particularity to have a playing captain in the person of 1992 Olympic champion and Davis Cup finalist Marc Rosset, who partnered Federer in the doubles against France (QF) and Australia (SF). The 2003 team further included Michel Kratochvil and George Bastl. The team had to play its three matches away from home.
After a very tight first round in Arnhem, Netherlands (Michel Kratochvil won the decisive rubber against Martin Verkerk). Switzerland recorded a convincing win against France in Toulouse during which Rosset and Federer showed their strength as a doubles team, and Federer outplayed Fabrice Santoro in the fourth rubber.
For the semifinal, Switzerland had to travel to the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to face Australia with Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis, and doubles specialists Todd Woodbridge and Arthurs. After the expected wins of Hewitt against Kratochvil and Federer against Phlippoussis, the doubles appeared to be the turning point, very much like in the 1992 final. Federer and Rosset lost in five sets, and Federer then had to play Hewitt for survival. After Federer won the first two sets 7-5 and 6-2, Hewitt fought back and won the next three sets. This is still considered one of Federer's most painful defeats, and he was still in tears many hours after the game.
|Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia
19–21 September 2003
For the final, Switzerland would have faced Spain in the Bern Arena, which was already booked to receive the event.
After the failed attempt of 2003, Switzerland never came really close to a semifinal again. However, 2014 suddenly became the year of great hopes when Federer declared himself available for the first round of the World Group against Serbia, who was playing without its best players Novak Djokovic (exhausted after the Australian Open), Janko Tipsarević (injured), and Victor Troicki (suspended). Also, the Swiss Team now comprised for the first time two Grand Slam champions after Wawrinka won the Australian Open 2014.
The draw for the World Group looked quite favourable for the Swiss, with a quarterfinal against Kazakhstan or Belgium and possibly a semifinal against Italy (led by Fabio Fognini) or Great Britain (led by Andy Murray).
Switzerland won the first round against a Serbian "B-Team" 3-2 in Novi Sad. The game was decided 3-0 on Saturday already after Chiudinelli and Lammer made the winning point in the doubles.
For the quarterfinal, Switzerland faced Kazakhstan in Geneva. A poor performance by Wawrinka (lost his first singles and the doubles) almost caused the elimination of the Swiss team, so that Federer had to play a deciding fifth rubber (after Wawrinka had regained his form to win the fourth rubber) against Golubev, which he won. With this victory, Roger Federer succeeded Jakob Hlasek as the Swiss player with most singles wins (35).
For the semifinal against Italy, a new record attendance for a Swiss tennis game was set with a public of 18,400 in the Geneva Palexpo. All tickets were sold out in less than three hours. Captains Severin Lüthi and Corrado Barazzutti called the following players:
For the Swiss team, Yann Marti (ATP 209) was called as a fifth player, acting as a sparring partner. He was allowed to wear the team uniform for the first time and to stay with the team the whole week.
Both Federer and Wawrinka won their first singles in straight sets and were first expected to play together in the doubles on Saturday. However, due to his fatigue after the US Open, Federer asked not to play in order to be fresh in case he needed to play on Sunday. Wawrinka had to play the doubles with Chiudinelli, and they lost in five sets to Fognini and Bolelli. This was the third defeat of the Wawrinka and Chiudinelli in three Davis Cup matches. They had already lost together against Italy in 2009.
For the decisive rubber on Sunday, Roger Federer faced Fognini and won in straight sets, qualifying Switzerland for its second final.
|Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland
12–14 September 2014
For the final against France, Switzerland had to travel to Villeneuve-d'Ascq, near Lille. The local football stadium, the Stade Pierre-Mauroy was transformed into a tennis stadium for this occasion, with a capacity of 30,000. The French decided to play on a clay court. This choice was mostly due to the fact that both Federer and Wawrinka were participating in the ATP World Tour Finals on a hard court a week before the Davis Cup final. However, French captain Arnaud Clément stated that the surface would not necessarily be an advantage for France. France started practicing on the court 10 days before the final, while Federer and Wawrinka were playing in London on a hard court.
Initially, the French team also evoked the possibility of organizing the final in one of their Overseas Territories to impose a massive jet lag on Federer and Wawrinka, both playing the ATP World Tour Finals in London one week before the Davis Cup final. Gilles Simon mentioned the city of Nouméa in New Caledonia as a potential venue.
Interestingly, the previous memorable campaigns of 1992 and 2003 also saw the Swiss team play against France abroad. Both games ended with a Swiss victory (1992: QF won 3-2 in Nîmes; 2003: QF won 3-2 in Toulouse). At the same time, these were the only two Swiss victories in 12 encounters with France.
The preparation of the Swiss team for the final was overshadowed by the back injury of Roger Federer. He was playing at the London Masters the week before and won the semifinal in a very tight match against Wawrinka, during which he injured his back. He subsequently had to withdraw from the final against Novak Djokovic, and he was unable to practice until the late evening of Wednesday before the final. This left Federer with very limited practice time for the transition from hard court (on which he played in Paris and London) to the clay court in Villeneuve-d'Ascq. The French team had no injury to report and prepared during 10 days on clay before the final.
The captains nominated the following players:
Federer's injury triggered discussions about the possible late nomination of a substitute. Yann Marti (ATP 227) was considered as a replacement, clay being his favourite type of court. Finally, Federer's health improved, and no further nomination was made.
Despite a good end of season (runner-up in the ATP 1000 Shanghai), Gilles Simon, who had a better ranking than Benneteau and Gasquet (ATP 21), was left out of the French team. This was probably due to his bad previous results in Davis Cup and his inability to win decisive games in this competition.
|Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille, France
21–23 November 2014
After winning the Davis Cup for the first time, titleholder Switzerland travelled to Belgium for the first round. Both Federer and Wawrinka announced that they would not play. Therefore, captain Severin Lüthi called the following players:
Yann Marti (ATP no. 294), Adrien Bossel (ATP no. 324), Henri Laaksonen (ATP no. 344) and Michael Lammer (ATP no. 541). Marco Chiudinelli (ATP no. 226) was still recovering from an injury and was not called.
This was the first selection for both Marti and Bossel.
The tie was overshadowed by the decision of Yann Marti to leave the team after the captain had decided not to nominate him for the Friday singles. Marti left the team on Friday with only three players available for the tie. Switzerland lost the tie 3-2 (despite Henri Laaksonen's winning both his singles), and Marti was heavily criticized in Switzerland. The president of Swiss Tennis even stated that he would never tolerate Marti's presence on the team again and that he would prefer to play in the continental zone with serious people, than in the World Group with Marti.
Michael Lammer announced his retirement after the Belgium tie.
The Swiss team secured its spot in the World Group by winning the play-off game against the Netherlands 4-1 in Geneva. Both Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka played the tie. They both needed to play one Davis Cup tie during the year in order to guarantee a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2016, Switzerland faced Italy abroad for the first round, without Federer and Wawrinka. The captain called Laaksonen, Chiudinelli, Bossel and a newcomer from Geneva, Antoine Bellier. Switzerland lost 5-0.
Home venues since 1992
The memorable semifinal of 1992 marked the beginning of a love story between the Swiss team and the Palexpo in Geneva. It is by far the most frequently used venue for home ties and can be considered the Swiss temple of tennis.
1. Geneva, Palexpo: 10 ties (1992, 1995, 1996, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014 (twice!), 2015)
2. Neuchâtel, Patinoires du Littoral: 3 (1999, 2001, 2013)
3. Fribourg, Forum: 2 (2005, 2012)
4. Lausanne, Patinoire de Malley: 2 (2004, 2008)
5. Zurich, Saalsporthalle: 2 (1998, 1999)
6. Berne, Postfinance Arena (2011), Kreuzlingen (2008), Geneva, Arena (2006), Basel, St Jakob Halle (2001), St. Gallen, Kreuzbleiche (2000), Locarno, FEVI: (1997), Olten, Stadthalle (1996).
|2010||World Group, First Round||5–7 Mar||Logrono||Spain||1–4||Lost|
|World Group, Play-offs||14–16 Sep||Astana||Kazakhstan||0–5||Lost|
|2011||Europe/Africa Group, Quarterfinals||8–10 Jul||Bern||Portugal||5–0||Won|
|World Group, Play-offs||16–18 Sep||Sydney||Australia||3–2||Won|
|2012||World Group, First Round||10–12 Feb||Fribourg||United States||0–5||Lost|
|World Group, Play-offs||14–16 Sep||Amsterdam||Netherlands||3–2||Won|
|2013||World Group, First Round||1–3 Feb||Geneva||Czech Republic||2–3||Lost|
|World Group, Play-offs||13–15 Sep||Neuchâtel||Ecuador||4–1||Won|
|2014||World Group, First Round||31 Jan–2 Feb||Novi Sad||Serbia||3–2||Won|
|World Group, Quarterfinals||4–6 Apr||Geneva||Kazakhstan||3–2||Won|
|World Group, Semifinals||12–14 Sep||Geneva||Italy||3–2||Won|
|World Group, Final||21–23 Nov||Lille||France||3–1||Won|
|2015||World Group, First Round||6–8 Mar||Liège||Belgium||2–3||Lost|
|World Group, Play-offs||18-20 Sep||Geneva||Netherlands||4–1||Won|
|2016||World Group, First Round||4–6 Mar||Pesaro||Italy||0–3||Lost|
- "Switzerland v Brazil". daviscup.com.
- "United States v Switzerland". daviscup.com.
- "Australia v Switzerland". daviscup.com.
- "Switzerland v Italy". daviscup.com.
- "Tears of joy from Roger Federer as Switzerland win Davis Cup". Guardian. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "Roger Federer, Switzerland win first Davis Cup title". USA Today. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "France v Switzerland". daviscup.com.
- Team page on DavisCup.com