Roger Federer produced a vintage performance in front of the largest tennis crowd ever to win Switzerland’s first Davis Cup, the team event for men. Reaction in and outside Switzerland has been euphoric. And bizarre.
All Swiss newspapers cleared their front pages and top positions online – as they had done all weekend – and followed the match point by point.
“The tennis king crowns Switzerland” was the headline in the Tages-Anzeiger in Zurich. “The Davis Cup is ours! Switzerland’s historic triumph” wrote the Corriere del Ticino.
Tabloid Blick also raved about the “historic” win and right below the online headline had a poll: “What a great victory! Are you now going to learn to play tennis?” At the time of writing, 70% of readers have clicked on “No – I’ll leave that to Roger and Stan.”
The 33-year-old Federer swept aside Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday, giving Switzerland an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five encounter. He and Stan Wawrinka had put Switzerland into a 2-1 lead on Saturday with a straight sets defeat of Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the doubles.
Federer was thrashed by Gaël Monfils in his first singles match after struggling with a bad back but recovered as the weekend progressed and did not face a break point on Sunday.
Action in the Twittersphere had been almost as furious as that on court. This was the “official” moment when a perfectly weighted drop shot by the merciless Federer sealed the deal for Switzerland:
Prompting a dream reaction from the Swiss Tennis Association:
Sure enough the Federer waterworks were soon turned on, but he wasn’t the only person to be overwhelmed:
But the ever-gracious Federer made sure the spotlight wasn’t only on him. "I'm really happy for all the guys in the team," he said afterwards. "Stan put so much effort over the years and he played an unbelievable weekend, that's what gave me the opportunity today. I'm very much aware of that, this one is for the boys."
Indeed, many people rated Stan Wawrinka, the world number four – two places behind Federer – Switzerland’s backbone and the Cup’s most valuable player.
And let’s not forget the Swiss team’s secret weapon:
A reference to Mrs Federer, who allegedly heckled Wawrinka during a match against her husband last weekend, which – again allegedly – led to a ten-minute face-to-face between the two players in the changing room afterwards.
The politicians were quick to offer their congratulations. Didier Burkhalter, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, couldn’t be there in person but sent his thoughts via SMS: “Your victory is the reward for your talent and desire. It carries your signature.”
Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga made it to Lille to watch the doubles victory on Saturday and Sports Minister Ueli Maurer had front-row seats on Sunday. Interior Minister Alain Berset took to Twitter:
Finally, Swiss singer-songwriter Sophie HungerExternal link expressed her feelings (in English) on Facebook:
“Switzerland wins the Davis Cup. Roger and Stan, my love to you is absolutely ridiculous. It is VERY unlikely that I will ever love someone or something as much as I love you. The rest of the world is nothing but a faint chuckle. With perfect devotion, Sophie Hunger .. a grain of sand.”
Can’t top that.
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