Davis Cup World Group: what next?
Australia's qualification for the Davis Cup World Group in 2014 has thrown up a whole host of exciting - and challenging - potential first round matches.
Australia’s defeat of Poland in its Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie in Warsaw at the weekend has seen Australia return to the World Group for the first time in since 2007.
And on Wednesday evening (AEST) the Aussies’ first round opponents in 2014 will be determined when the ITF conducts its draw ceremony in London.
With a whole host of exciting – and challenging – potential first round matches, we break down the various possible scenarios Australia faces as it begins its bid to capture its first Davis Cup since 2003.
The World Group is the elite 16-nation tier of the ITF’s Davis Cup competition. It comprises eight nations who won their first round World Group matches in 2013 – thus maintaining their place in the group – and the eight nations that won their World Group Play-off ties at the weekend.
As one of the lower-ranked nations among the group, Australia will face one of the top-eight seeded nations in next year’s first round. This could be Czech Republic, Spain, Serbia, Argentina, France, the United States, Canada or Kazahkstan. Italy could technically take over Kazahkstan’s eighth ranking when the new rankings are released – thus becoming a potential opponent for Australia – but this is unlikely.
The venue for the tie depends on which nation Australia is drawn to play. It would be an away tie against Czech Republic, Spain or France, while Australia would host Serbia, Argentina or the United States. A coin toss would be required to determine the venue for ties against Canada or Kazakhstan. However unlikely, a tie against Italy would be staged in Australia.
World Group first round ties in 2014 will be staged on 31 January to 2 February. The Davis Cup World Group draw for 2014 will take place in London at 11am local time (8pm AEST) on Wednesday 18 September.
To win the Davis Cup in 2014, Australia would be required to win four ties, staged in February, April, September and November. Should it lose its first round tie, it would be required to win a World Group Play-off tie (like they did against Poland) to retain its place in the World Group. A loss in the play-off stage would see Australia relegated to the Asia/Oceania Zone Group 1 in 2015.