By Jason Brown, USTA.com
– Ask Stanislas Wawrinka anything you’d like, but please no more questions about the absence of fellow Swiss teammate Roger Federer.
When Federer announced that he would miss the first round series because of a nagging back injury, Wawrinka assumed the role of team leader and No. 1 singles player.
“I think it’s not the moment to ask a question about Roger,” said Wawrinka after his win against James Blake of the United States that gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead in the tie.
“Roger is one of the best players ever in the world. Everyone wants to know how he’s doing, if he’s still on the team or not," he added. "Everybody on the team (is) disappointed he’s not here. But now we are on the weekend. We try to do the best this weekend.”
The 13th-ranked player in the world is being counted on by his team to try to win three points – both of his singles matches and the doubles point with partner Yves Allegro on Saturday.
“It’s not my first time without Roger, (to) be No. 1 in the team,” said Wawrinka, who’s been the No. 1 player twice for Switzerland. “I always try to push the team, to do my best, be an example for the team.”