Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka share Davis Cup MVP award
'Fedrinka' wins the Most Valuable Player Award in this year’s Davis Cup campaign
The only element of doubt surrounding the winner of the Most Valuable Player Award in this year’s Davis Cup campaign was whether the nod would go to Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka.
In one of the tournament’s most emotional victories, and in front of a record crowd of more than 27,000, Federer blitzed Richard Gasquet to seal Switzerland’s first ever Davis Cup win—the only major trophy missing from his illustrious resume.
But all who followed the Swiss pursuit of this famous team title were fully aware that it takes more than one great player to succeed. This victory had also needed fellow Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, who had risen to the best form of his career in the last two years, to turn a long-held dream into an achievable reality.
Federer was the first to stress the role of his ‘brother in arms’, who played arguably the best tennis of the final tie: “Stan has put in so much effort over the years and he played an unbelievable weekend: I’m very aware of that… I can’t thank Stan enough for the effort he’s put in this weekend to build me back up.”
Federer was referring to the back injury he sustained in beating Wawrinka to the final of the World Tour Finals—an injury that forced him to withdraw from the final. In Lille, therefore, it was Wawrinka who led the opening charge with a win against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before a stiff Federer succumbed to Gael Monfils.
Federer was therefore in no doubt who was the MVP: In more than one interview, he insisted: “The MVP this weekend was Stan.”
But while Wawrinka was the stand-out performer on the first day and in the subsequent doubles match, few could deny what Federer had contributed to the team not just this year—when he won all his singles rubbers in all four ties—but in 15 years of involvement. Indeed he has played more rubbers than any other active player except Lleyton Hewitt and more than anyone among the top dozen Grand Slam champions.
In short, neither man on their own could have achieved what they did together. And so the ITF resolved the contest with a joint award for Federer and Wawrinka: Fedrinka, as the Swiss chums have become to the world.
In ranking order, then, the MVP Awards read thus.
1 Fedrinka, Switzerland
2 Darian King, Barbados: King was one of only three players to win six singles rubbers in 2014, and added two doubles rubber victories as well. He efforts took Barbados to Americas Zone Group I for the first time in its history.
3 Ricardas Berankis, Lithuania: Berankis helped Lithuania into Europe/Africa Zone Group I for the first time in its history. He won all five of his singles rubbers in 2014, including fighting back from 0-2 down against Mirza Basic in the opening rubber of Lithuania’s promotional play-off against Bosnia/Herzegovina.
4 Marin Cilic, Croatia: Cilic was undefeated in Davis Cup action, winning three singles rubbers and a doubles rubber as Croatia earned promotion to next year’s World Group. He showed his commitment by, less than a week after winning his first Grand Slam at the US Open, flying to the Netherlands to win a doubles rubber and the deciding fifth rubber of Croatia’s 3-2 World Group play-off.
5 Radu Albot, Moldova: Albot won all six of the singles rubbers he played in 2014, the joint-most of any player this year. Moldova almost made the jump from Europe/Africa Zone Group II to I, but was unable to beat Denmark in the play-off, losing 3-2 in the fifth set of the deciding fifth rubber.
• Jabor Mohammed Ali Mutawa won all five of his singles rubbers for Qatar as it was promoted to Asia/Oceania Zone Group III.
• Alvaro Daniel Riveros and Julian Saborio teamed up to win all five of Costa Rica’s doubles rubber in 2014, helping their nation clinch promotion to Americas Zone Group II.
• Gael Monfils won all four of his singles rubbers for France in 2014, including a deciding fifth rubber in the quarter-final against Germany and a victory against Federer in the final.
• Marton Fucsovics went through 2014 undefeated for Hungary, winning three singles rubbers and a doubles rubber as it was promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group II.
• Marsel Ilhan won all four of the rubbers he contested in 2014: three singles victories and a doubles win as Turkey was promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group II.
• Takanyi Garanganga led Zimbabwe to promotion from Africa Zone Group III, winning all three singles rubbers and the only doubles rubber he contested.