GB, Belgium handed home ties in 2016 Davis Cup Draw

24.09.2015    Views: 10834
Source: KTF press-service
SANTIAGO, CHILE: This year’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas finalists Great Britain and Belgium have both been handed welcome home draws in the first round of next year’s competition.
The draw for the 2016 World Group, which took place at the ITF Annual General Meeting in Santiago, Chile on Wednesday evening, dealt Belgium a clash with Croatia while Great Britain will welcome Japan on 4-6 March.

Belgium’s opening test in 2016, its first against Croatia since 2004, will mark a fifth consecutive tie on home soil for Johan Van Herck’s men, who will have played 12 of their last 16 Davis Cup ties at home – including this year’s Final in Ghent – by the time the first round tie rolls around. 
Great Britain has also had a good run of home ties, with 13 of its last 17 Davis Cup encounters taking place in front of a partisan home crowd. Three months after bidding for overall glory for the first time since 1936 in this year’s Final in Ghent, Leon Smith’s men will turn their attentions to playing Japan in the first meeting between the two nations since 1931.

Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Serbia were also granted home ties in the opening round at Wednesday's draw.
Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, champions in 2010, will host Kazakhstan in the first meeting between the two countries. Both nations will look for improved fortunes in 2016 after falling in this year’s quarterfinals, with the prize of a last eight encounter with Great Britain or Japan on offer.

Italy will take on 2014 champion Switzerland in a repeat of last year’s semifinals, this time with the benefit of home advantage. It will be the seventh meeting between the two nations overall, with their last six ties shared equally at three wins apiece. 

Fresh from its first ever victory in the World Group play-offs, Poland has been dealt a stern test in its maiden appearance in the top tier with a first round tie against four-time runners-up Argentina.
Daniel Orsanic’s men were only narrowly denied a place in this year’s Davis Cup Final courtesy of Steve Darcis’ fifth rubber heroics and, to underline the Argentine team's strength in the competition, have reached at least the World Group semifinals on 10 occasions since 2002.

France and Canada will meet for only the third time in history in next year’s first round, with new French captain Yannick Noah looking to continue his team’s undefeated record against Canada following comprehensive victories back in 1966 and 2012. Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil, to name but two, might have something to say about that.

After easing through their World Group play-offs last weekend, Germany and Czech Republic will duel for a 15th time in Davis Cup – but for the first time since 2005. 
Germany has something of a strangehold over the three-time champions, having won their last four meetings and 10 of their 14 previous clashes overall. Jaroslav Navratil’s men will hope to recall Tomas Berdych to the squad as they seek a first victory on German soil since 1974.
Despite the disappointment of their semifinal loss in Glasgow, Wally Masur’s Australian team have the perfect pick-me-up next March – a home tie against fellow Grand Slam nation USA. 
The Americans have struggled of late, losing to Great Britain in the first round for the past two years in a row, and Australia will hope to capitalise on what will be a testing trip for Jim Courier’s men.   

The full draws are listed below:
World Group
First round (4-6 March)
Great Britain [s] [c] [*] v Japan
Serbia [s] [c] [*] v Kazakhstan
Italy [c] v Switzerland [s]
Poland [c] [*] v Argentina [s]
France [s] [c] v Canada
Germany [c] v Czech Republic [s]
Australia [s] [c] v USA
Belgium [s] [c] v Croatia
Americas Zone Group I
First round (4-6 March)
Brazil [s] v Bye
Barbados/Uruguay v Ecuador
Chile [c] v Dominican Republic
Colombia [s] v Bye
Asia/Oceania Zone Group I
First round (4-6 March)
India [s] v Bye
Korea, Rep. [c] v New Zealand
Pakistan [c] v China, P.R.
Uzbekistan [s] v Bye
Europe/Africa Zone Group I
First round (4-6 March)
Spain [s] v Bye
Romania v Lithuania/Slovenia
Ukraine [s] v Bye
Portugal [c] v Austria
Russia v Denmark/Sweden
Netherlands [s] v Bye
Hungary [c] v Israel
Slovakia [s] v Bye
Asia/Oceania Zone Group II
First round (4-6 March)
Chinese Taipei [s] [c] v Malaysia
Philippines [s] [c] v Kuwait
Indonesia [s] [c] v Vietnam
Thailand [s] [c] v Sri Lanka

[s] = Seeded nation
[c] = Choice of ground
[*] = Choice of ground decided by lot
The home nation is listed first for each tie.
The 2016 World Group dates are as follows:
- World Group first round: 4-6 March
- World Group quarterfinals: 15-17 July
- World Group semifinals and play-offs: 16-18 September
- World Group Final: 25-27 November

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