Next Roger Federer in Davis Cup squad as tennis legend misses Russia match
ROGER FEDERER is not in Switzerland’s Davis Cup squad to face Russia today - but the next big thing in Swiss tennis is.
Federer has withdrawn his name from selection in recent years to focus on the ATP Tour.
The 37-year-old’s decision has paid off with three further Grand Slam titles won since his decision to quit Davis Cup in 2015.
But the veteran’s presence in the Swiss team is evidently still there, as he is inspiring the next generation to come through.
One youngster - 15-year-old Jerome Kym - has been included in the Swiss squad.
He is not due to play in the clash with Russia but is part of the squad to experience the Davis Cup first-hand.
But plenty of fans in Switzerland are drawing comparisons between the youngster and Federer.
For a start, Roger Federer sacrificed higher education to turn to as a 17-year-old.
Kym is said to have done the same and currently trains away from his childhood home.
Jerome Kym is part of the Switzerland Davis Cup squad this week (Image: GETTY)
Switzerland are playing Russia in the Davis Cup (Image: GETTY)
"I miss my family, but I'm used to not being home anymore,” he said.
“It's a new phase of life.”
Kym trains six hours a day, including long cross-country runs.
"There I get my head free and I forget everything around me," he said.
Roger Federer has not played Davis Cup since 2015 (Image: GETTY)
And the youngster is also a student of the game.
His said Sven Swinnen said of him: "Tennis comes first with Jerome. He knows exactly what he wants.
“He listens and tries to implement what he is told.”
And a former coach of the teenager once said: “Jerome has always looked a lot of tennis. Once he came into training after studying and suddenly played his forehand like Rafael Nadal.”
Kym won bronze at the U16 European Championships last summer and is ranked in the top 20 in his age group.
He will be on the bench for Switzerland today and tomorrow as they seek to get past Russia.
But Federer will not be there and it is unlikely that he will rejoin the team midway through the season either.
That is despite players needing two years’ worth of Davis Cup matches to qualify for the next Olympic Games.
Federer is keen to make the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo but for that he must play Davis Cup.
However, tennis bosses have already confirmed they could tweak the rules slightly for the 37-year-old to make the cut.