(Reuters) - Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka had already achieved one lifetime dream, now he is targeting another career milestone by winning the Davis Cup for Switzerland.
The world number three stormed to his first grand slam title in Melbourne in January, beating Spain’s Rafa Nadal in the final having ousted reigning champion Novak Djokovic en route.
Immediately after the Australian Open, Wawrinka was joined by 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer for Switzerland’s Davis Cup World Group first round tie against a weakened Serbia side - the Swiss going through with ease.
The Swiss now face Kazakhstan with a growing feeling that with the duo branded “Federinka” in tandem they can go all the way to the final for the only the second time.
“There is one goal that I have for many years. It’s the Davis Cup,” Wawrinka, who is playing at the Sony Open in Miami this week, told the ITF website.
“Now Roger 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.”
Federer has slipped below friend Wawrinka in the ATP rankings but has started the year in fine style and surprised many with his last-minute decision to play in the first round tie against Serbia, having opted out last year.
It revealed his desire to win the only major trophy to elude him and with a tie against the Kazakhs to come next month the 32-year-old is on course to do it this year.
Wawrinka has showed a few signs of an Australian Open hangover, however, and will be anxious to make another big statement in Miami this week having lost disappointingly in Indian Wells to South African Kevin Anderson when he admitted his attitude had been poor.
“I need to focus on what I did before to win the Australian Open,” Wawrinka said.
”That means I need to focus with my coach, try to improve my game, try to be 100 percent every day on the court, try to always fight, always try to be at my best in every match.
“If I do that, I know I‘m going to have some great results this year.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar