No Roger Federer, no problem? Doubtful. Switzerland has Stanislas Wawrinka for its first-round Davis Cup tie against the Czech Republic, but the home team is a considerable underdog with the defending champs on the other side of the net.
Roger Federer’s Davis Cup participation is limited almost exclusively to saving Switzerland for relegation. Last year (after making a rare World Group appearance in a first-round loss to the United States), Federer won two singles rubbers against the Netherlands to put his country back in the field of 16 for 2013.
This time, the first round will commence without the 17-time Grand Slam champion. In Federer’s absence, Stanislas Wawrinka headlines a Swiss team that plays host to the Czech Republic, which won the title last fall. While the home team is missing Federer, the Czechs are without No. 2 singles player and key doubles component Radek Stepanek.
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