Lille: Even though they had started the Davis Cup final confident of victory, the defeated France team were forced to concede on Sunday that a Roger Federer-inspired Swiss outfit had simply been too strong for them.
Following the 3-1 defeat, which Federer sealed on Sunday by demolishing Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-2 6-2, the home team were offering no excuses about having to play without their injured number one Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who missed Saturday`s doubles and Sunday`s reverse singles because of an arm problem.
France`s technical director Arnaud Di Pasquale adopted a philosophical air, shrugging that some things simply could not be controlled.
"Let`s be serious, they are stronger, it would have been quite an achievement to beat them," Di Pasquale told a news conference.
"I remind you that we lost against Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. On paper they are a lot stronger than we are.
"Of course, we could have won. But what could we have changed?
"We`re talking about surfaces, preparations, injuries. But it`s the number two and number four players in the world. So you can control some things and others you can`t."
It was France`s third defeat in their last three finals after losses at home to Russia in 2002 and away to Serbia in 2010.
Swiss number two Stan Wawrinka savoured the irony of the situation as his team started the week with doubts surrounding Roger Federer`s back and talks of an internal spat.
"We saw how quickly things changed. At the start of the week, the papers were full with stories about Roger’s back and the French team being ready to go to war," he told a news conference.
"At the end of the day, we saw the opposite. We handled the tie as usual, with a lot of discussions between us."
Di Pasquale and French Federation president Jean Gachassin both continued to back Arnaud Clement, who took over from Guy Forget in 2013, as the right man for the job.
"You can`t question the work of Arnaud Clement and all his staff. They did the maximum," said Di Pasquale.
"Clement has our confidence and our trust as a captain," said Gachassin.
"Of course, we lost but many teams would like to be in the final. If every time we lost we should change captains, many captains would be fired in the world."