• Wawrinka kicks off Davis Cup tie against Rosol

    1/31/13 6:53 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Wawrinka kicks off Davis Cup tie against Rosol Stanislas Wawrinka leads the way as Switzerland's No. 1 player in the absence of Roger Federer. He will go up against Lukas Rosol in the first rubber on Friday.

    With Roger Federer on the sidelines, Stanislas Wawrinka headlines the Swiss Davis Cup team for its first-round tie against the Czech Republic this weekend in Geneva, Switzerland. Wawrinka seems to be ready for it--and not just because he's been in the same position many times before without Federer.

    Wawrinka, of course, is coming off a memorable Australian Open campaign. The 17th-ranked Swiss took care of Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Tobias Kamke, and Sam Querrey before battling world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the match of the tournament. Wawrinka turned in the performance of his life, but the Serb had just enough to prevail 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(5), 12-10 after five hours and two minutes.

    Up next for Wawrinka is a first-ever meeting with Lukas Rosol, who is obviously no stranger to five-set encounters. The 73rd-ranked Czech is known for one thing and one thing only: stunning Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon second round last summer. Rosol has done little since then and he is off to a modest start this season. He lost in the Doha second round, fell in Auckland qualifying, and succumbed Milos Raonic in Melbourne after opening with a victory over qualifier Jamie Baker.

    Rosol does have upset potential thanks to his booming serve and forehand, but what he did against Nadal comes once in a lifetime, not once every few months. Based on Wawrinka's current form (plus he has home-court advantage to boot), the crowd favorite should cruise in straight sets.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
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