This weekend is the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and it will mark only the second time that Stan Wawrinka will be the top dog over Roger Federer is a Swiss team. The first time was in the first round this year when their teamed to beat Serbia in Serbia. Now they confront Kazakhstan with both men playing all the live days.
While it is great to see Federer back in familiar territory among the top four players in the world, it does also seem strange to see the role reversal with Wawrinka the one ahead in the rankings. Stan (or as the racquet bag he carries indicates, “Iron Stan”) is ranked three to Roger’s four.
Asked about his position ahead of Federer, Wawrinka said: “I think it can feel strange for everybody when you have Roger on the team and he is No.2 in the tie. It’s just because I played so well at the beginning of the season winning my first Grand Slam – I know that’s my ranking and I deserve it because I’m playing really good and I’m happy with that.
“Roger is back playing good tennis, he is confident, and I’m sure he’ll play amazing tennis the rest of the year, so I’m sure it’s going to be tough to stay No.1, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to play well and make some great results and to win the tie.”
The two of them playing doubles makes for a pretty formidable pairing and it is in their minds to shut the door on the visiting team as quickly as possible. Remember anything can happen in Davis Cup as the last meeting between the two nations showed when the Kazakhs won 5-0 in 2010.
Asked who takes the lead when they are playing doubles, Federer was pretty quick to stamp his authority: “It’s probably a bit more me but we do discuss things about tactics and where serving and we bounce it off each other but usually I kind of take the lead. I think one of the players always has to.”