Sydnety, 22 September 2011 | AAP-AP

China will be Australia’s first hurdle to jump next year as they attempt to get back to the Davis Cup World Group in 2013.

After losing a heart-breaking tie to Switzerland on Monday after leading two rubbers to one, Australia has been forced to spend another year in the Asian-Oceania qualifying zone.

In Wednesday’s draw in Bangkok they were paired against China for a February 10-12 tie that will be played in Australia.

With India enjoying the bye in the group, Australia will then have to play another team in the Asian-Oceania Zone if they win.

If victorious in the second tie they’ll then take on a first-round loser from the 2012 elite Davis Cup Group for the right to re-enter the main competition in 2013.

Australia enjoyed a 3-1 victory in their zonal tie against China in Beijing earlier this year.

In main group action the United States have been drawn to play Australia’s conquerors Switzerland in a first-round 2012 tie.

Switzerland will be at home for the series.

The teams last played in the opening round in 2009, when the Americans beat Switzerland 4-1 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Roger Federer did not play in that series and has not played in the first round since 2004.

Spain and Argentina, the 2011 finalists, were the top seeds at Wednesday’s draw.

Spain will host Kazakhstan and Argentina will travel to Germany.

Other fixtures feature Austria v Russia; Canada v France; Czech Republic v Italy; Serbia v Sweden; and Japan v Croatia.