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Davis Cup final tied 1-1


AP

Davis Cup final tied 1-1

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LILLE, France (AP) – Roger Federer’s valiant attempt to shake off a back injury backfired spectacularly when the Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion was swept aside by Gael Monfils yesterday as France levelled the Davis Cup final at 1-1.

Monfils triumphed 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 and posted his first win on clay over Federer, who decided to play despite the injury that forced him to pull out of the title match at the ATP Finals last Sunday.

Federer had only two short training sessions earlier this week and looked out of sorts while Monfils hit 44 winners including ten aces. The Swiss, who is chasing a maiden win in the team competition, dropped his serve five times and could not convert the two break points he earned.

It was a stark contrast to Federer’s superb display in London last week, where he eased past opponents but hurt his back during his semi-final victory over Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka.

Federer, however, said switching from hard court to clay and being short of practice was the main reason for his loss, rather than pain.

“Clearly I did feel, not having hit and played and moved at all for five days, and Gael did play well,” he said. “It’s not like I couldn’t play at all. It was a proper match, and he was the better player at the end.”

Federer believes he needs to spend more time on court to rediscover his game and is ready for today’s doubles.

“I would be ready to do that if ever it’s the best choice,” the 33-year-old said. “As I said before, I’m waiting for better things this weekend. I’m coming out of the match without any pain, which is good, too. It was not a five setter with me totally exhausted.”

Earlier, Wawrinka had put the Swiss ahead by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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