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    Swiss don't fault Federer for Davis Cup injury pullout


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    Swiss don't fault Federer for Davis Cup injury pullout Empty Swiss don't fault Federer for Davis Cup injury pullout

    Post by riley_.freeman on Wed Mar 04 2009, 09:01

    Swiss don't fault Federer for Davis Cup injury pullout

    BIRMINGHAM, Alabama ā€“ Swiss players are determined to make do without the imposing presence of Roger Federer for the country's third meeting with the US at the Davis Cup World Group first round tie this weekend.

    Beijing Olympic gold medal doubles partner Stan Wawrinka said that it had to be tough for Federer to skip the event as the world number two works to get his hobbled back in shape.

    "We know it wasn't an easy decision," said Wawrinka, 16th in the world after reaching the Top 10 last spring with a final in Rome.

    "But it's very very important for his career that he make this decision."

    Swiss skipper Severin Luethi is a long-time friend of Federer and travels the circuit as an advisor and sounding board for the 13-time Grand Slam winner.

    "With Roger out, we're not the favourites any more," he said. "We're now outsiders.

    "But we're comfortable. For sure we didn't come here to lose. We're going to do the maximum and try to win this tie."

    While Wawrinka will play the number 1 singles starting on Friday, the number 2 spot is wide open with Marco Chiudinelli ready to contend on the indoor hardcourt.

    Chiudinelli, ranked 341 but with a 4-2 record in Davis Cup, hopes to pick up where he left off at his last appearance in a 2-3 losing effort against Spain - another Federer-less tie where he earned both the Swiss points with wins over David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco.

    "That was just two weeks before I had to stop because of my knee injury," he said. "There are definitely good memories playing at home (and) beating those two guys."

    Federer has remained at his base in Dubai training and working on strengthening his back in time for the first Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells, California.

    "It's been two years since I've had a chance to be on the team," said Chiudinelli. "With Roger not there I'm really trying, I'm hoping to play singles."

    The nations stand 1-1 in their historical series, the Americans winning the 1992 final in Fort Worth, Texas and the Swiss earning revenge in the first round in 2001.

    Luethi will wait until the last moment to name his squad before the Thursday draw at an art museum.

    The US is going with its strengths as captain Patrick McEnroe sticks with a lineup which has stood the test in 11 of the past dozen ties: Andy Roddick, James Blake and the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan.

    McEnroe called his experienced 2007 champion side a "solid favorite."

    "The goal is to try to get back into the later rounds and win the Cup again. We certainly have the capability of doing that. That's the bigger-term goal. We certainly like the fact that we feel we've got a better chance to advance."

    Roddick said that the absence of the charismatic Federer will be a blow.

    "It took a little bit out of the match," said the number six Davis Cup stalwart. "It increases our chances of winning having him not be here."

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