GENEVA: France will host Switzerland in theDavis Cup final in November after Roger Federer gave the Swiss the winning point against Italy in Geneva on Sunday.
Federer reached the first Davis Cup final of his career with a comfortable 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) win over Fabio Fognini in the first of the semi-final’s reverse singles.
That made it 3-1 for the Swiss thus ensuring they would contest the final of the annual team event for the first time since 1992 when they lost to the United States.
France made sure of playing in the final for the first time since 2010 on Saturday when their doubles team of Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Czechs Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek in four sets.
The final will be played in France from November 21-23, with the northern city of Lille being touted as the likely host.
Federer, seeking a Davis Cup title to go with his all-time record of 17 Grand Slam victories, had given the Swiss the opening point of the tie with a straight sets win over Simone Bolleli and he started as a strong favoirite against top Italian Fognini.
Games went with serve until 3-2 for Federer in the opener when the Swiss star made the breakthrough and went on to take the set 6-2 in just 24 minutes.
The second set also saw Federer edge his way ahead with a break in the eighth game, Fognini furious with himself for netting an attempted smash on break point.
The volatile Italian had his chances in the third set against an increasingly edgy Federer, but squandered three break points in the third game and another break point two games later.
He was made to pay the price in the ensuing tie-break which Federer dominated after conceding the first point on his own serve.
The Swiss number worked out three match points and he converted the first of those as Fognini netted a forehand drive.
“For the whole of Switzerland it’s great we’re in the finals now. We couldn’t be happier,” said Swiss captain Severin Luthi.
“Roger didn’t have that much time to get used to the court and conditions and there is a lot of pressure involved. For me he played again fantastic tennis.”
Over in Paris, the France v Czech Republic tie ended at Roland Garros in a 4-1 win for the French, Jiri Vesely defeating Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-3 before Gael Monfils beat Lukas Rosol 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in the two “dead” rubbers.
France last won the Davis Cup in 2001 when they travelled to Australia and won 3-2.