Roger Federer arrived in Italy on Wednesday to play for Switzerland in the Davis Cup, two days after his loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the U.S. Open final.
The Swiss team had left Federer the option to decide on his plans until after the U.S. Open.
“I never had any doubt about coming,” said Federer, wearing the red jacket of the Swiss team. “The doubts were created by others. It certainly wasn’t me.”
Winning the Davis Cup is one of the few achievements missing from Federer’s long list of accomplishments. He missed the first round of this year’s competition in March with a back injury, and the Swiss team lost to the United States 4-1.
The World Group playoffs begin on Friday on the red clay courts at the Valletta Cambiaso club.
“I obviously have to get over my jet lag, considering the fact that I’m coming from New York, but everything else is fine,” Federer said, according to the Italian tennis federation.
Stanislas Wawrinka, Stephane Bohli and Marco Chiudinelli are also on Switzerland’s team, while Italy will use Andreas Seppi, Simone Bolelli, Fabio Fognini and Potito Starace.
The winner of the best-of-five series will return to the World Group next year.
Federer and the 22nd-ranked Wawrinka won the gold medal in doubles at last year’s Beijing Olympics.
“Obviously Switzerland is the favourite, but Italy is a good team and you never know,” Federer said.
Seppi is Italy’s highest ranked player at No. 59.
“It’s a tough tie,” Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti said. “But this is a unique competition compared to a regular tournament, and you can really get motivated for it. That’s why you often see strange results in Davis Cup. “We’re not going to go out on the court already beaten. We’re going to play and give our best.”