Roger Federer makes victorius Davis Cup debut at 17



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Roger Federer makes victorius Davis Cup debut at 17

At the end of 1998, Roger Federer was among the most promising youngsters in the world, winning Wimbledon title in July and finishing the season as the top-ranked junior. Also, the Swiss had reliable pro results that pushed him inside the top-300 on the ATP list, setting even higher goals for 1999 still at the age of 17.

The youngster opened the season with four indoor events that perfectly suited his aggressive style of play, reaching the semi-final at Heilbronn Challenger and the quarter-final of the ATP tournaments in Marseille and Rotterdam to enter the top-130 before Miami Masters.

His move through the rankings could not have passed quietly and Roger received an invitation from the Swiss Davis Cup captain Claudio Mezzadri (he replaced Stephane Oberer in February) to join the squad for the World Group first-round clash against Italy on home soil in Neuchatel.

Roger's first out of 70 Davis Cup rubbers came against world no. 48 Davide Sanguinetti on April 2, with a teenager scoring a 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 triumph to move Switzerland 2-0 in front after Marc Rosset delivering the first point.

Everyone was impressed by Roger's performance, controlling the pace in the sets he won and showing no sign of nerves outside that second set tie break when he couldn't reach Sanguinetti's level. Two days later, Federer lost in a dead rubber against Gianluca Pozzi in straight sets and this was only the beginning of his incredible Davis Cup journey, winning 52 matches in total and clinching the title for his country in 2014 together with Stan Wawrinka.

Roger was there to defend the colors of Switzerland for 15 years, often in World Group Play-Off, receiving the Davis Cup Commitment Award for his hard work and devotion in the most prestigious team competition in the world of tennis.

Roger has won 40 out of 48 Davis Cup singles rubbers, including memorable battles against Christophe Van Garsse, Vladimir Voltchkov and Lleyton Hewitt that all went into the fifth set and some dominant displays against various rivals, motivated to give his best while defending the national colors.