Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka both went 0-2 in this weekend's Davis Cup tie against the United States. According to Federer, only one of them deserves blame. I'll give you a wild guess about who Federer believes was responsible for the surprising American sweep.
From the Associated Press, detailing Federer's statements to the French media after he and Wawrinka lost their doubles match to Mardy Fish and Bob Bryan on Saturday:
[Federer] claimed not to be too disappointed while pointing a finger at Wawrinka, who slumped back in his chair looking every inch the junior partner in the relationship.
"I played well enough in doubles, but Stanislas not so much," Federer said, adding that Wawrinka "didn't have his best match in singles. It's a shame, because of that defeat we weren't able to put the U.S under pressure."
In the parlance of reality shows, Wawrinka got thrown under the bus.
What Federer fails to mention is that after Wawrinka lost to Fish, he immediately went out and lost to John Isner, which was a much bigger defeat for the Swiss team.
Wawrinka is ranked No. 26. Fish is No. 8. Playing on clay and in front of a partisan crowd, the gap between the two wasn't as a big, but still; the loss wasn't exactly a stunner.
Federer's loss to Isner, on the other hand, was. That's a point Switzerland has to have. Wawrinka's would have been nice, Federer's was crucial. He rarely loses to players outside the top 10, let alone in his home soil in a Davis Cup match.
The two share the blame for Saturday's doubles loss. Federer and Wawrinka looked out of sync, especially for a team that won a gold medal at the last Summer Olympics. That they were playing a team that was partnering for only the second time in their careers only added to the insult.
It's an old saying that a team is only as strong as its weakest player. Switzerland's squad was as weak as its strongest one. Roger Federer wasn't himself this weekend and it resulted in an early exit from the Davis Cup.