It was only Wednesday that Roger Federer was unexpectedly ousted from the Miami Masters by Kei Nishikori after three sets.
Federer was riding a huge wave of success into Miami, having played some of his best tennis since recovering from an injury-plagued 2013 season. The loss may have affected Federer's confidence and momentum slightly, but the former world No. 1 won't have to wait long to get it back.
Federer announced via Twitter in February that he would join countryman Stanislas Wawrinka in the Davis Cup quarterfinals:
The duo were fantastic in their Round 1 matches, each coming away victorious against Serbia. Their performances gave Switzerland its first quarterfinals appearance since 2004, according to ATPWorldTour.com.
Federer is now set to take on a Kazakhstan team led by world No. 56 Mikhail Kukushkin. Compared to Federer's recent battles against top-tier opponents, this well-timed Davis Cup appearance looks to be just what he needs to regain his momentum.
This is fun: Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka team up for doubles in Indian Wells. Fine-tuning their team for a Davis Cup run? #bnppo14— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) March 5, 2014
After losing in Miami to Nishikori, Federer admitted he wasn't in top form, according to an interview with ATP's website:
I think Kei does really well controlling the ball. He has great technique, especially on the backhand, very simple, very short back swings, so he does a really nice job of having good timing. I predict he's going to be Top 10 in a short while.
I could never really get my service games going. On the return, as the match went on, I think it was that Kei started to serve a bit better, which made it more difficult.
Although he praised the play of Nishikori—in a typical classy move by Federer—it was clear that he was not happy with his performance, especially after rattling off shots like this just days prior:
These things have a way of lingering in the back of athletes' minds.
It's important for Federer to gain a decisive victory in short order. A little confidence goes a long way, and Federer has a perfect chance to regain his quickly.
With plenty of title chances remaining this year, the Davis Cup will serve as a great primer to get Federer's game back to where it should be so he can continue on with his fantastic 2014 resurgence.