Great Britain paired with Canada in 2017 Davis Cup world group opening round

Britain will travel to Canada while 2016 finalists Argentina and Croatia play against Italy and Spain respectively

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 September, 2016, 11:27am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 September, 2016, 11:29am

Britain will travel to Canada for the first round of the 2017 Davis Cup after Thursday’s World Group draw that cast 2016 finalists Argentina and Croatia against Italy and Spain.

Britain’s title defence ended with defeat to Argentina in the semi-finals last weekend, while Canada, semi-finalists in 2013, beat Chile to maintain their World Group status.

The winner of the tie from February 3-5 would face either France or Japan.

The French, this year’s beaten semi-finalists, travel to Japan, who have fifth-ranked Kei Nishikori among their ranks.

The Japanese, who returned to the World Group in 2011 after 26 years absence, were beaten in the first round by Britain this year.

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Marin Cilic’s Croatia are enjoying a run of success advancing to the 2016 final which they will host from November 25-27 after sweeping France aside 3-2 in Zadar.

Next year they will start their campaign at home against Raphael Nadal’s Spain, who have just won promotion to the World Group.

The Spanish generally do better on clay, rather than Croatia’s hard courts.

Argentina also prefer clay, and drew a home tie against Italy, led by 2015 Australian Open doubles winner Simone Bolelli.

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The United States take on Switzerland, while Lleyton Hewitt’s Australia, who can count on the talented Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic, drew a home tie against the Czech Republic.

The 2017 format has been shortened to the best-of-three sets rather than five and will be played over two days instead of three.

A match is made up of two singles rubbers followed by a double rubber and two further singles games.

World Group 1st round

Argentina v Italy

Germany v Belgium

Australia v Czech Republic

United States v Switzerland

Japan v France

Canada v Britain

Serbia v Russia

Croatia v Spain