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Federer ditches Davis Cup

The relationship between Roger Federer and Jacob Hlasek was already strained during the tie against France Keystone Archive

Switzerland's top tennis star Roger Federer has announced his immediate withdrawal from the country's Davis Cup team, saying he will not play for Switzerland as long as Jakob Hlasek remains captain.

After a meeting with his parents and the president of the Swiss tennis association, the Basel teenager released a statement claiming it was impossible for him to work with Hlasek. Federer added that he now intended to concentrate on the demands of the ATP tour.

The Swiss number’s one decision was not entirely unexpected. During Switzerland’s epic second round defeat against France earlier this month, he had told the media he was unhappy with Hlasek’s style of captaincy. Federer argued that Hlasek brought nothing to the player’s performances and did not allow them to enjoy the competition.

Hlasek has already survived one high-profile row with Swiss number two Marc Rosset, who rejoined the Davis Cup team for the tie against France after an absence of almost two years. But the captain’s position is likely to become much more vulnerable without Federer, who was almost singly responsible for Switzerland’s first round win over the United States.

In a thinly veiled hint to the national association Federer said he would be happy to represent his country once again in certain circumstances.

“It has always been and remains my objective to give my all for the Davis Cup,” he insisted. “For that reason, I urge the association to find a solution for the future, in accordance with the entire team.”

The timing of Federer’s announcement could hardly have been worse for Hlasek, who left Switzerland on Thursday for a two-week holiday in Indonesia. Before leaving the country, Hlasek said that he intended to begin calm discussions with Federer some time after his return – those intentions may now prove extremely hard to realise.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR