Former world No. 1 Roger Federer and 2014 Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka gave Switzerland a highly anticipated 2-0 lead after the opening day of their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round tie against hosts Serbia in Novi Sad’s SPENS Arena.
Federer put the Swiss in the driving seat with a 64 75 62 win over Ilija Bozoljac after fighting back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set, while Wawrinka overpowered Dusan Lajovic 64 46 61 76(7) in Friday’s second singles rubber to give his team a commanding advantage ahead of Saturday’s doubles.
“I struggled to read Ilija’s serve early on although I wasn’t really surprised because I played against him not that long ago so I knew that he has a big serve, Federer told a news conference.
“In the second set I was just glad to take advantage and fight back. The most important thing is that I won the match in straight sets,” he said.
Bozoljac rued the chances he missed to engineer a more dramatic match against one of the all-time greats: “The difference between the top players and those at my level is that the likes of Federer bounce straight back from adversity while I always need a game or two to regain my composure
“It was a tough match and it wasn’t easy for me to come here after the last few weeks,” Wawrinka told reporters.
“I didn’t really have enough time to get ready as I was exhausted both mentally and physically, but I was determined to fight and win the match and I was really happy to get through it.
“He is a good player and tough to beat in front of his home fans so it was a tough situation for me, so we are really happy to be 2-0 up after the opening day.”
Swiss team captain Severin Luthi said he was likely to stick with his nominated duo of Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer for Saturday’s doubles, with Serbia opting for veteran Nenad Zimonjic and the youthful Filip Krajinovic.
“We haven’t made a final decision yet but I think we are gojng to leave it as it is because we have no guarantees that Roger and Stan will win the doubles while Marco and Michael certainly have a chance. We have to keep Sunday in mind although we are looking to finish the job and not let the Serbs back into the match.”