The United States will face the Czech Republic in the first round of the 2007 Davis Cup it was revealed at the World Group Draw on Thursday in Rome, Italy. The Czechs will host the tie, which will be played February 9-11 at a site and on a playing surface to be determined by the Czech Tennis Federation.
The U.S., which lost to Russia, 3-2, in the 2006 World Group Semifinals, are currently ranked sixth in the ITF Davis Cup Nations Rankings.
The Americans lead the all-time series with the Czechs, 4-1, but the two countries haven’t met in Davis Cup action since 2000, when the U.S. posted a 3-2 win at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
“We need to get over the hump of winning a big match on the road on clay,” said U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe. “Our first round match against the Czech Republic will more than likely give us another chance to do just that.
“I expect the same core of players that have played this year (Andy Roddick, James Blake and the world’s No. 1 doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan) to be available in 2007, but would love to have a difficult decision on who to name to the team if players like Mardy Fish and Robby Ginepri get back in the mix.”
If the U.S. should defeat the Czech Republic they would meet either Spain or Switzerland in the World Group Quarterfinals, April 6-8.
The Spain-Switzerland pairing potentially sets up another installment in the rivalry between world No. 1 Roger Federer and No. 2 Rafael Nadal.
In other Davis Cup World Group first round match-ups, Russia will travel to Chile, France will host Romania, Croatia is set to head to Germany, Australia is pitted against host Belgium, Sweden will travel to Belarus and Austria welcomes Argentina.
2007 Davis Cup World Group Draw (PDF)
U.S. to Host Belgium in 2007 Fed Cup First Round