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Wawrinka is the cynosure

Paris: Stanislas Wawrinka, hotfoot from his Australian Open triumph, turns his mind to affairs of national importance this weekend as he leads Switzerland into battle against last season’s beaten finalists Serbia in the Davis Cup World Group first round.

In last Sunday’s final in Melbourne, the new world No. 3 captured his first Grand Slam title with a four-set upset of Rafael Nadal.

Wawrinka told the Melbourne crowd he was looking forward to the tie against the weakened Serbs — as long as he survived his victory party. “Davis Cup, it’s really important for me. I’m really proud. It’s a big honour to play for my country....

“I don’t know how I’m going to get there exactly, if I’m still going to be alive after tonight, but I’m going to go there... There’s a big chance I get drunk tonight....”

While Nadal and world No. 5 David Ferrer skip Spain’s tie with Germany in Frankfurt, Serbia must face Wawrinka’s Switzerland without Novak Djokovic. The Swiss in contrast are looking strong as along with the in-form Wawrinka they boast Roger Federer, who confirmed his presence on Wednesday.

Argentina, meanwhile, face Italy without their top player, Juan Martin Del Potro, knocked out in the second round at Melbourne.

Djokovic had already signalled his intention not to play at Novi Sad before his quarter final loss to Wawrinka last week.

(AFP)