On paper they are a devastatingly good Davis Cup by BNP Paribas team. World No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka in the form of his life and world No. 5 Roger Federer back to his best after a disappointing season by his own high standards.
The Swiss duo has captured the imagination of the tennis public so much so that they have already been given the nickname ‘Federinka’ and there are few neutral fans who wouldn’t want to see the 17-time Grand Slam champion win the one trophy missing from his cabinet.
With Wawrinka playing the best tennis of his career, there is every chance that 2014 will be a year to remember for Swiss fans. The Australian Open champion explained what it would mean for him to win.
“There is one goal that I have since many years. It's the Davis Cup,” he said.
“Now Roger [Federer] is playing, so we know that we are a strong team to do something. We’ll need to be careful, but we have a good chance to make a big result this year, and that's so far the most important [goal].”
Switzerland has advanced to its first World Group quarterfinal since 2003, when it defeated France thanks to three points from Federer before falling to Australia in the semifinals.
With a home quarterfinal against Kazakhstan offering the most comfortable route to the semifinals, even the draw has favoured the Swiss this year but Wawrinka knows he has to maintain his form if he is to help Switzerland go all the way to the final for just the second time in its history.
Wawrinka added: “I need to focus on what I did before to win the Australian Open. That means I need to focus with my coach, try to improve my game, try to be 100 per cent every day on the court, try to always fight, always try to be at my best in every match.
“And if I do that, I know I'm going to have some great results this year.”
None would be sweeter than winning Davis Cup.
Switzerland hosts Kazakhstan at the Palexpo in Geneva on April 4-6.