France to face Germany in Davis Cup first round

Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:28pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Top seeds France were drawn away to Germany on Thursday in the opening round of the 2015 Davis Cup World Group.

France, who comfortably beat champions the Czech Republic to set up a clash against Switzerland in this year's final, will play Germany from March 6-8.

Second seeds Switzerland, who knocked out Italy to reach the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1992, travel to Belgium.

The Czechs, winners in 2012 and 2013, host Australia and this year's beaten semi-finalists Italy meet Kazakhstan.

Serbia, the fourth seeds and winners in 2010, were drawn at home to Croatia in a clash that could pit world number one Novak Djokovic against newly-crowned U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic.

Cilic steered Croatia into the World Group by beating Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker in a playoff tie on Sunday.

Britain will host its first Davis Cup World Group tie in 13 years after being drawn to face the United States, with the visitors hoping to avenge the 3-1 first-round defeat they suffered in San Diego this year.

Canada will also have the chance of redemption when they face Japan after their injury-hit team was hammered 4-1 in Tokyo in February to miss out on a place in the last eight.

Five-times champions Spain, who will not compete in the World Group for the first time in 19 years after losing to Brazil, have been handed a bye in their first match in Europe/Africa Zone Group I.   Continued...

(From L, visible faces) French team captain Arnaud Clement, Julien Benneteau, Michael Llodra, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet (front) react after their victory over Czech Republic in the semi-final of the Davis Cup at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris September 14, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau