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Serbia to open DC defence against India

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Originally published on: 17/12/10 14:28

The ticker tape may not yet have settled around the Belgrade Arena, scene of Serbia’s Davis Cup triumph over France less than two weeks ago, but the draw and venue list for the 2011 competition has turned thoughts to the fledgling nation’s impending title defence.

Serbia will host India in the World Group first round on the indoor hard courts of the Spens Sports Center in the nation’s second city of Novi Sad. The arena, generally a basketball and volleyball venue, is hosting a Davis Cup tie for the first time. Three-time finalists India secured their place in the elite 16-team group for a second straight year with a 3-2 play-off victory over Brazil in September.

Jim Courier’s tenure as US Davis Cup captain begins just as Patrick McEnroe’s ended, with a potentially tricky tie on South American clay. Having beaten Columbia to book their spot in the World Group for a 23rd straight season, the Americans – bolstered by the return of Andy Roddick to the squad in 2011 – head to the Estadio Nacional in Santiago to face a Chile team that will hope to welcome back its own national No.1 Fernando Gonzalez, who missed the quarter-finals this year through injury.

Two ailing Davis Cup titans, Sweden and Russia, will clash on the indoor hard courts of the Borashallen in the Swedish town of Boras. Robin Soderling will lead the line, but the world No.5 is a class apart from his countrymen in the ATP rankings, with Nick Lindahl the current Swedish No.2 with a world ranking of No.240. Russia, with five players in the top 100, will no doubt enter the tie in confident mood.

Four-time champions Spain kick off their 2011 campaign away to Belgium, who denied Australia a return to the World Group in the play-offs. With the tie to be played indoors, expect a lightning-quick surface to be laid in Charleroi’s Spiroudome to test the clay court nation’s burgeoning talent pool.

Elsewhere, Croatia face Germany in Zagreb while Argentina will hope to field Juan Martin del Potro and talisman David Nalbandian when they host Romania. Kazakhstan travel to the Czech Republic in their first ever World Group tie, and Austria host 2010 finalists France, with details of venue and surface to be announced next week.

The Davis Cup World Group first round ties will take place from March 4-6 2011.

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