The US’ chase for a 33rd Davis Cup title will start against Switzerland, while Spain and Argentina will both play their first matches at home following this year’s final.
Tuesday’s 2009 World Group draw handed the US a tough opener at home against Switzerland, though it’s not certain whether Roger Federer will play in the March 6-March 8 matches.
The countries split their two prior meetings, with Federer winning three points to lead the Swiss to victory in Basel in another first-round series played in 2001.
But Federer hasn’t played in an early Davis Cup series since 2004, preferring to wait until the later rounds. The five-time Wimbledon and five-time US Open champion led Switzerland to a 4-1 win over Belgium last weekend to stay in the elite 16-nation World Group.
Switzerland’s other top player is No. 9-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka, who teamed with Federer to win the Olympic doubles gold medal in Beijing.
Federer said last week that the schedule is more conducive for Davis Cup next year.
“This year it was particularly brutal actually for all of us,” he said. “It has been really difficult. Next year it is going to be easier.”
Swiss Tennis spokeswoman Sandra Perez said the team hopes Federer will play, noting that he is scheduled to play in the US the following.
“Roger has said he wants to put the Davis Cup into his calendar, but he wants to see all the details first,” Perez said. “He will do anything possible to be there.”
“From the perspective of the tournament calendar [the US] is probably the best opponent we could get. Otherwise it is the most difficult draw,” she said.
Argentina will host Spain in this year’s final from Nov. 21-Nov. 23.
Argentina downed Russia 3-2 last weekend, while Rafael Nadal led Spain to 4-1 win over the US.
Argentina will face the Netherlands and Spain will host Serbia in the first round next year, while Russia plays at Romania.
Also in the World Group, the Czech Republic hosts France, Chile is at Croatia, Sweden welcomes Israel and Austria goes to Germany.