Federer Won't Play Nadal in Davis Cup

Tuesday, November 7th 2006, 11:36 am
By: News On 6

BIEL, Switzerland (AP) _ Roger Federer will skip the opening round of next season's Davis Cup, ruling out a showdown with Spanish rival Rafael Nadal.

Switzerland and Spain will meet Feb. 9-11 in Geneva.

The Swiss tennis federation said Tuesday that Federer wanted to concentrate on defending his No. 1 ranking and winning Grand Slams.

``A Davis Cup victory is too ambitious and too important an objective to hope to accomplish on the side,'' Federer said.

The federation said it regretted Federer's decision but understood his reasons.

Nadal has also expressed doubt over his participation because he normally doesn't play the first round of the Davis Cup.

Nadal is 6-2 against Federer, including a win in this year's French Open final. But Federer beat Nadal in the Wimbledon final in July.

Federer won all three matches in the best-of-five series against Serbia two months ago to help Switzerland avoid relegation _ making up for his absence from the first round when Switzerland lost to Australia.

In recent years, Federer has kept room for one Davis Cup series per season and has twice missed the first round.

Federer led Switzerland to the Davis Cup semifinals in 2003, and the quarterfinals in 2001 and 2004. Switzerland's best Davis Cup performance came in 1992, when it reached the final before losing to the United States.