Federer had been forced to withdraw from the championship match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday with a back injury, and had been undergoing treatment in an effort to recover in time for the Davis Cup final in Lille. He returned to the court for a 30-minute hit on Wednesday evening and also had a practice session with teammate Stan Wawrinka on Thursday morning.
“Obviously if I’m stepping out on the court, that means I can play,” Federer told DavisCup.com. “That’s most important. I’m just really pleased that I’m actually able to play tomorrow. I’ll give it a go. Definitely looking forward to playing against Gael. I think he’s a great player, very exciting to watch. I like to play against him, too.
“So things have been going very well for me the last week. It’s been a difficult week, but I’m happy where I am today.”
Federer had aggravated his back in the third set tie-break of his semi-final against Wawrinka last Saturday at The O2. Despite a drama-filled match during which he saved four match points to deny his teammate, Federer said it was business as usual on his reunion with Wawrinka in France.
“It’s true that the past days were difficult for me because I wasn’t able to play that final,” he said. “I would have thought, ‘Well, Stan should have finished that match at 5‑3. I wouldn’t have had a back problem and we wouldn’t have had the situation we had.’ But it was an incredible match. It was an historical match. There was a great atmosphere.
“Then now we are here and everything is very relaxed. We had very good contacts on Sunday, Monday, every day. It’s the same with the rest of the team, too. We are all very close to each other. It’s a great pleasure to be all together here and to spend these good times together.”
Both players were in good spirits and optimistic enough about Federer’s condition to joke with the press ahead of the tie.
“We’re going to wait until you’re all outside before Roger stands up because he has trouble standing up,” Wawrinka said with a laugh.
“I’m going to stay here until tomorrow, not moving,” added Federer with a smile.
Wawrinka will open the Swiss-France tie when he plays Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on the indoor clay court of Stade Pierre Mauroy, and drew positives from his recent performance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
“For me, the week was big. Was really important, for sure,” said Wawrinka. “Was tough night. Was tough afternoon, Sunday all day. [It’s] not easy, especially to have four match points against Roger, to be playing the way I was playing. It’s more easy to think about the next step, what I’m going to do after, stay positive, when I give everything on the court.”