It was only Wednesday that Roger Federer was unexpectedly ousted from the Miami Masters by Kei Nishikori after three sets.
Federer was riding a huge wave of success into Miami, having played some of his best tennis since recovering from an injury-plagued 2013 season. The loss may have affected Federer’s confidence and momentum slightly, but the former world No. 1 won’t have to wait long to get it back.
Federer announced via Twitter in February that he would join countryman Stanislas Wawrinka in the Davis Cup quarterfinals:
The duo were fantastic in their Round 1 matches, each coming away victorious against Serbia. Their performances gave Switzerland its first quarterfinals appearance since 2004, according to ATPWorldTour.com.
Federer is now set to take on a Kazakhstan team led by world No. 56 Mikhail Kukushkin. Compared to Federer’s recent battles against top-tier opponents, this well-timed Davis Cup appearance looks to be just what he needs to regain his momentum.
After losing in Miami to Nishikori, Federer admitted he wasn’t in top form, according to an interview with ATP’s website:
I think Kei does really well controlling the ball. He has great technique, especially on the backhand, very simple, very short back swings, so he does a really nice job of having good timing. I predict he’s going to be Top 10 in a short while.
I could never really get my service games going. On the return, as the match went on, I think it was that Kei started to serve a bit better, which made it more difficult.
Although he praised the play of Nishikori—in a typical classy move by Federer—it was clear that he was not happy with his performance, especially after rattling off shots like this just days prior:
These things have a way of lingering in the back of athletes’ minds.
It’s important for Federer to gain a decisive victory in short order. A little confidence goes a long way, and Federer has a perfect chance to regain his quickly.
With plenty of title chances remaining this year, the Davis Cup will serve as a great primer to get Federer’s game back to where it should be so he can continue on with his fantastic 2014 resurgence.