Federer clears the air with Swiss over Davis Cup

London: Roger Federer has cleared the air with the Swiss tennis federation over his last-minute decision to pull out of the Davis Cup tie in Kazakhstan in September, the 16-times grand slam champion said on Monday.

Federer received rare criticism in his homeland when he withdrew two days before the tie. Switzerland went on to lose 5-0 and were condemned to the Europe/Africa group, effectively the competition`s second division.

"Criticism is okay but I think most of the people actually understood my decision," Federer told Reuters after overcoming Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Swiss Indoors on Monday when the Ukrainian retired hurt.

"I don`t read that much press but I always try to be very transparent with my thoughts.”

"Kazakhstan was unfortunately not one I could do at the very end, I tried to keep it open as long as possible, but I always think of the long term.”

"I had a good conversation with the president of Swiss Tennis and all is under control."

Federer has played 37 Davis Cup rubbers, although from 2005 to last year he only represented his country in the playoff round which decides whether they stay in the World Group.

Kazakhstan Trip

The Kazakhstan tie came shortly after the U.S. Open, where Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, but Swiss media said he should not have waited until the last minute before deciding.

Federer lost only four points on his serve as he won 6-4, 5-2 in 51 minutes on Monday, the match prematurely ending after Dolgopolov hurt his ankle.

World number two Federer said the Ukrainian appeared more interested in shaking his hand than worrying about the injury.

"I ask him if he needed water, a towel, if I could help him out.”

"He wanted to shake my hand while he was lying down on the floor, I was saying `put on your shoe, let`s hope you`re okay, you can maybe walk out and then let`s shake hands, don`t rush yourself.`"

Federer, once a ball boy at his hometown tournament, is aiming to win it for the fourth time, having lost to Djokovic in last year`s final.

"For me, it`s always one of the nicest parts of the season," he said.

"In terms of importance, everybody talks about the slams and everything but in terms of emotions, this is obviously very high up there, if not number one.”

"I love this tournament, more than any other almost, and it`s always wonderful for me to come back here. I try to get good at not getting injury before because it`s happened twice before."

Bureau Report