24 Nov 2014

Davis Cup final all tied up

6:34 am on 24 November 2014

The Davis Cup tennis final between France and Switzerland is level at 1-all after the opening singles in Lille.

Swiss tennis players Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer at the 2014 ATP World Tour Finals.

Swiss tennis players Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer at the 2014 ATP World Tour Finals. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Gael Monfils rose to the occasion as he upset Roger Federer in straight sets after Stan Wawrinka had given the Swiss a 1-nil lead by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four.

Monfils was at his best against the world number two who has struggled recently with back problems.

Federer missed training this week after being forced to withdraw from his ATP World Tour Final against Novak Djokovic in London on Sunday.

Monfils, who had never beaten Federer on clay in four previous encounters, won five games in a row as he whizzed through the first set.

Struggling with his serve, the Swiss was broken again in the third game of the second set and his French rival showed no sign of weakening, sending his opponent chasing balls left, right and centre.

It was not game over yet, though, as Federer beat Monfils in five sets in this year's U.S. Open quarter-finals after dropping the first two.

But this time, roared on by a record 27 thousand strong crowd that were kept quiet during Tsonga's match, Monfils maintained his grip to break for a 3-2 lead before finishing off the contest on Federer's serve with a stunning backhand winner down the line.

Switzerland looked as if they were in the driving seat after Wawrinka's defeat of Tsonga who looked a pale shadow of his normally aggressive self against the world number four.

The doubles will be played on Saturday, with the reverse singles on Sunday on the clay of the Pierre Mauroy stadium.

France, who last lifted the trophy in 2001, are looking to win the Davis Cup for the 10th time while Switzerland are seeking their maiden title.

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