Davis Cup finalists handed tricky away tests
Originally published on: 19/09/12 00:00
There’s still the small matter of the Davis Cup final to be played this November in the Czech Republic but yesterday, at the BNP Paribas offices in London, all eyes were on next season’s competition as the opening round match-ups were drawn.
No.1 seeds Spain have shown this year they can beat the best without talisman Rafael Nadal at the helm but the five-time champions will be hoping to have their main man back when they take on Milos Raonic’s Canada next February. It will be the first time the Spanish travel to the North American country with the only previous meeting between the sides taking place in Spain in 1991 when the home side prevailed 4-1.
Spain’s opponents in this year’s final, Czech Republic, have been handed a trip to Switzerland to take on Roger Federer and co. The Czechs, who won their only title in 1980, were on the losing side when they last played on Swiss soil but they’ll take confidence in their 6-2 head-to-head record against Switzerland, whose best performance in the competition was a final appearance in 1992.
This year’s beaten semi-finalists USA and Argentina will have their sights set on going at least one better in 2013, but first they’ll have to get through home ties against Brazil and Germany respectively.
Newcomers Belgium and Israel were both handed tricky first round ties. The Belgians will host former champions Serbia in the first meeting between the two countries while Israel travel west to take on nine-time winners France in Arnaud Clement’s first game in charge.
Elsewhere Italy welcome 2005 champions Croatia while Kazakhstan begin their campaign at home to Austria.
World Group First Round (1-3 February, 2013)
Canada v Spain
Italy v Croatia
Belgium v Serbia
USA v Brazil
France v Israel
Argentina v Germany
Kazakhstan v Austria
Switzerland v Czech Republic