Back in September 2003, Lleyton Hewitt defeated Roger Federer at Rod Laver Arena in the Davis Cup semi-final, bouncing back from two sets to love deficit to secure the victory for Australia over Switzerland. From 2005, Roger was there to carry his country in the World Group Play-Off for five consecutive years, missing the competition in 2010 when Switzerland dropped out from the elite level.
Federer defended the national colors again in two ties in 2011 against Portugal and Australia, sending Switzerland back into the World Group and hosting the USA in the first round in 2012 in Fribourg on indoor clay. Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer were the favorites on the slow surface and in front of home fans but it wasn't to be for them, suffering a tough 5-0 loss to propel the Americans into the quarters.
On February 10, John Isner defeated Roger Federer 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 to push the USA 2-0 in front, as Mardy Fish prevailed against Stan Wawrinka 9-7 in the deciding set of the first rubber after four hours and 26 minutes.
On Saturday, February 11, Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish ousted Federer and Wawrinka 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 47 minutes, securing a commanding victory for the USA who advanced into the quarter-final, sending Switzerland into another World Group Play-Off.
The Swiss squad made a great start, securing an early break and staying in front until game ten when Roger held at 30 for a 6-4. The Americans responded in the sixth game of the second set following a double fault from Stan Wawrinka, with Mike Bryan holding at love in game nine with a service winner to level the overall score and grab momentum.
Stan got broken again at 3-3 in the third set before the Americans stole Federer's serve as well in the ninth game to move a set away from reaching the next round when Mike placed a volley winner. Bryan fired a forehand down the line winner in the fourth game of the fourth set to steal Stan's serve, landing a service winner at 5-3 to move over the top and secure a convincing victory for his country on the away tie and the least favorite surface.
"We actually played pretty well, considering it was a high standard of the match on both sides, having our chances," Federer said. "Maybe they were just a touch better than us and the result shows that. We had our opportunities, played well for a long time, but they deserved it.
The Americans played well in both singles and doubles; we have respect for their performance and we are not too down about the loss."