Switzerland were banking on going into day 2 with a 2-0 lead over France. Federer had only lost one set to Monfils on clay before their singles yesterday but he took almost 3 sets to loosen up his back and Monfils was already looking at the finish line by then.
So the doubles has taken on much more importance to the tie. With the way Monfils played yesterday a Wawrinka win is far from a gimme. he leads their head to heads 3-2 but they haven’t played since 2011 and never on clay.
Tsonga has a lot to prove after his poor showing yesterday. He was booed by the home crowd which is unusual for Davis Cup but not for a French crowd. The French supporters often go quiet when their player is losing where other nations will try to lift their struggling athletes.
Federer has made himself available for the doubles. The original plan was for he and Wawrinka to play but after Federer’s loss to Monfils it looked like being Benneteau/Gasquet v Chiudinelli/Lammer. That was virtually handing France the point.
it now looks as though Federer and Wawrinka will play as they now need the point. They are likely to play Tsonga and Gasquet. After Tsonga’s level of play yesterday I think leaving Benneteau in may have been a better move to leave Tsonga fresh for his match on Sunday against Federer. Benneteau is the current French Open Doubles champion. The Swiss are gambling a little on Federer and Wawrinka getting the win even though they have lost their last 4 doubles matches.
If Federer plays and the doubles turns into a long battle then whichever country wins today are likely to be crowned champions on Sunday. I can’t see Federer being fit enough to play competitive singles if he pushes his body close to the limit this afternoon.