Roger Federer will look to get over the disappointment of losing in the semifinals of the US Open by leading Switzerland to the final of the Davis Cup with a victory over Italy.
Where to Watch Live
The Davis Cup semifinal is scheduled to begin at 12.45 pm local time (4.15 pm IST) with live coverage on Neo Sports in India. Watch Roger Federer and co. in action via live streaming online HERE.
One of the very few medals/trophies missing from Federer's ridiculous collection is a Davis Cup title, and the Swiss maestro can move one step closer to clinching that particular crown by playing a starring role against Italy in Switzerland's first Davis Cup semifinal in 11 years.
"We have the opportunity to write history," said Federer.
Federer, though, has in the past, played down the importance of the team event, with his focus a lot more on the individual tournaments. But then, that could also have been because Federer has not had the greatest of teams to work with in the past.
"This tie obviously is the focus right now," said Federer. "But after that I still have some big tournaments coming up."
However, now, with an historic final in sight, and Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka there to play alongside him, Federer, who has been a part of the squad all along the way this year, can see that title win moving ever close. Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Hammer complete the Swiss lineup, but Federer and Wawrinka have also been pencilled in to play the doubles.
Therefore, both of the Swiss players will want to keep their matches on Friday as short as possible. Federer opens up the Davis Cup semifinal tie against Simone Bolelli, ranked number 76 in the world, with Wawrinka then facing world number 17 Fabio Fognini. Andreas Seppi and Paolo Lorenzi will play the doubles for Italy.
"We obviously are favourites," Federer added. "We have a formidable team. We are playing at home and we chose the surface. We can do it."
The home crowd will play a big part, with a capacity crowd of 18,000 expected for all three days at the Palexpo Exhibition Centre in Geneva. "It's a record crowd for Switzerland I can't wait for that to happen," Federer said.
The last time Switzerland played in the semifinals, it did not go so well with Australia having too much power and strength to see Federer and co. off 11 years ago. The Swiss great is hopeful of a different result this time around.
"We travelled to Melbourne with eight or nine players, and Stan was one of them," Federer recalled. "He was very young at the time, so I'm very happy he got the experience back then, and has seen it all unfold, the good times and the bad.
"As a team, we haven't had much success over the past 50 years, so people in Switzerland still talk about 20 years ago when we made the finals. Hopefully they'll talk about this tie in 20 years, that would be wonderful -- this is the dream for us, the players."
Italy are obviously the underdogs, and the best thing about being the less-favoured side is that it takes the pressure off. If they can play without a lot more freedom and if Bolelli is able to pull off a massive upset against Federer to kick off the tie on Friday, then an upset could very well be on the cards.
Davis Cup semifinal Schedule: Friday: (first match starts at 12.45 pm local time, 4.15 IST): Roger Federer (SUI) vs Simone Bolelli (ITA)
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) vs Fabio Fognini (ITA).