INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – If you’re going to come into a press conference and ask Roger Federer the gazillionth question of his long, trilingual media career, you’d best have your ducks in a row.
Otherwise, the Swiss star is going to drop a couple of well-deserved barbs on you.
The poor fellow in question came into Federer’s post-match press conference after his straight-sets win over Stan Wawrinka with a whole narrative prepared.
Would Federer try to add another Davis Cup to his resumé, given the shortened format and the resultant lack of a multi-week commitment throughout the year?
(We’ll grant him that this, at its core, was supposed to be the point of the sweeping Davis Cup changes).
There was only one problem.
Federer didn’t play the qualifier in February.
And without him, Switzerland was beaten by a solid, young Russian team that included Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.
And so, Fed had a bit of a go.
No thanks, Davis Cup
Here’s the other element of this tale, which Federer didn’t offer up in his explanation.
Had he wanted to play the Davis Cup finale in Madrid in November (along with his compatriot Stan Wawrinka), he well could have.
The organizers had two wild cards to give away. And, for whatever reason, they announced those all the way back last September. Great Britain and Argentina were the big winners.
Obviously, since then, No. 1 Brit Andy Murray has had hip surgery. And No. 1 Argentine Juan Martin del Potro fractured his kneecap.
But more than that, Federer says they put the full-court press on him for a quick decision. Not only did the three-day deadline not give him enough time to “consult with all the people he had to consult“, he also didn’t appreciate the modus operandi.
Had those two wanted to play in November, you have to think that would have been a done deal.
You have to feel bad for the guy – his heart was true. But this was a fairly big deal at the time. It’s not as though it required extensive dark ‘net research to unearth or anything.
He could have asked anyone of at least a dozen people in the press centre, too, before he dove into the Fed-abyss.