Wednesday 26 November 2014


                                                     Team Switzerland with the 2014 Davis Cup title                             Image Courtesy: Guardian
Switzerland becomes only the 14th country to lift the prestigious World cup of men's tennis - Davis Cup. This is a fitting considering the Swiss team boasts of arguably one of the best tennis players ever. If winning the Davis Cup title is a single's challenge, then Federer would have found a way to win this annual event much before. Unlike the many singles titles he has won, Davis Cup is a team event. No matter how well you play, there are moments you sit tight, watch the action, cheering your teammate and hope he wins it for you, for the team and for the country.

With Stan Wawrinka playing as well as he ever did, Switzerland had two players going into the finals - who could dictate terms on their own at crucial phases of a game. They have tasted glory before for Switzerland - Remember Beijing Olympics in 2008? The iconic scene is still fresh in my memory. It was Stan and Roger show six years ago and now in 2014, it is the same story.

The 2014 Davis Cup finals happened to be the second time Switzerland qualifying for the title showdown. Turn the clock back to 1992, a golden year for Swiss tennis. Marc Rosset, surprisingly and more impressively took the single's gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics - a feat which has not been emulated by a Swiss player till date. On back of a remarkable success on the clay courts of Barcelona, Marc Rosset and his teammate Jakob Hlasek competed against the mighty and talented bunch of players from the United States for the Davis Cup title. The limited resources of Switzerland hurt them dearly as they lost the finals tie 1-3 to a team which had Pete Sampras and John McEnroe play doubles while Andre Agassi and Jim Courier played singles. The sole consolation had to be Rosset's win over Jim Courier which was settled in five sets.

Marc Rosset (left) and Jakob Hlasek did their best in 1992 to win the Davis Cup and finished second to USA

Switzerland as a country is complexly united and never allow their individual differences to come in the way of being a single entity. While individuals might go and achieve great things, they are seldom secluded and revered or given a red carpet treatment. Yes, they are acknowledged as celebrities and that's where the distinction ends. Even these 'celebrities' are foremost Swiss citizens and here people as a group always takes priority over individuals. So, quite fittingly Davis cup victory is something this tiny country will be proud of, as the honour is bestowed to 'Switzerland' and not to individuals. 

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