(Reuters) - Traditional rivals Australia and the United States will clash in the first round of the 2016 Davis Cup, while Great Britain and Japan will meet for only the second time, after the draw was made on Wednesday.
Australia (28) and the U.S. (32) have won the Davis Cup 60 times altogether, though neither is the power it used to be, with only one win each this century.
Britain, who will play Belgium in this year’s final in November, will start their 2016 campaign at home against Kei Nishikori’s Japan, 85 years after their only previous meeting.
The draw for the World Group, made in Santiago, Chile, also served up Switzerland with a potentially tricky away tie against Italy.
The powerful Swiss, headed by Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, have split their past six ties against their neighbor.
World number one Novak Djokovic’s Serbia will host Kazakhstan, while France, under new captain Yannick Noah, will host Canada.
The first round ties will be played March 4-6. Under Davis Cup regulations, the home team chooses the surface.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina