The 2017 Davis Cup draw has been made in London on Thursday and India are now set to face New Zealand in the first round of the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I competition. The tie is scheduled for February 3-5, 2017. If they progress, they will take on the winner of the first round clash between Korea Republic and Uzbekistan.
The venue and the surface are yet to be decided. According to PTI, Pune has a strong chance to host this tie as the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association has shown a lot of interest in it.
The Kiwis are familiar opponents for India, having played them eight times during this competition. Out of them, India have won the last five times with the most recent one being last year which gave India a chance to play the World Group play-off. But now after a 0-5 drubbing at the hands of the Rafael Nadal-led Spain, India are back again in the Asia/Oceania Group I zone.
Meanwhile, the India captain Anand Amritraj hopes that the injured Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman will be back next year to lead the team.
“It’s good for us that we are playing at home. Let’s hope that Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman get back to playing in the side. It’s still a few months away. I will discuss with AITA about the surface and venue soon,” said Amritraj.
World Group first round clashes
In the 2017 World Group first round, Croatia, who reached this year’s final, have drawn five-time champions Spain. The other finalist of this year – Argentina – will be hosting the 1976 winners Italy. While Croatia won their only title in 2005, Argentina are still seeking their maiden crown after reaching the final four times previously.
In the other first round matches, 2014 winners Switzerland will travel to the USA while Australia will host the Czech Republic. Great Britain, who lost to Argentina in the semi-finals this year, will kick off against Canada in an away tie.
Russia will make the trip to Serbia while France will travel to meet Japan. Germany, whose last triumph came in 1993, will be crossing swords with Belgium at home.Published 23 Sep 2016, 22:54 IST