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Sunday, 11 February, 2001, 17:03 GMT
US crash out of Davis Cup
Roger Federer, Swiss Davis Cup team
Federer ended American hopes with win
Switzerland beat USA 3-2

Switzerland's Roger Federer beat Jan-Michael Gambill on Sunday to send the USA out of the Davis Cup at the first round stage for the first time since 1993.

The 19-year-old won 7-5, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in front of his hometown crowd to give Switzerland an unassailable 3-1 lead.

The match marked a miserable debut for American captain Patrick McEnroe, who took over two months ago from his better-known brother, John.

Federer served out the match with an ace, then dropped to his knees before being engulfed by teammates and fans.

The crucial match was virtually decided inthe tense 56-minute first set.

Second set cruise

Gambill, who was hanging on to stay even with Federer, was unable to convert three set points in the critical 10th game.

Each time, Federer responded under pressure and showed the all-court game that gave him his first ATP title a week ago in Milan.

He then went on to clinch the opening set 7-5.

Federer, who won his opening singles on Friday against Todd Martin and played a key part in Switzerland's doubles victory on Saturday, then broke Gambill twice in the second set to win 6-2.

Gambill, 23, refused to give in and won the third set in the 10th game, converting his second set point when Federer netted a backhand.

But the Swiss player was unrelenting and improved his career record against Gambill to 3-0.

American B team

In the final set, he broke the American in the third game and took his serve again in the seventh game to lead 5-2.

There was no coming back for the Americans then and Federer emphatically served out the match.

Had the Americans survived for the final singles, veteran Martin was scheduled to play Michel Kratochvil.

He was doubtful with a back injury picked up Friday against Federer, and highly regarded 18-year-old Andy Roddick stepped in to replace him.

Roddick overcame George Bastl 6-3 6-4 but the result was irrelevant.

America had once again found out that their B team was not good enough to win the Davis Cup.

Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras refused to play in the competition after criticising its format, and they were badly missed.

Switzerland have never won the Davis Cup and had only reached the World Group once.

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