Great Britain handed tough draw in the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals
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Great Britain have been handed a tough draw in the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals, where they will take on last year’s runners-up Australia along with France and Switzerland at Manchester’s AO Arena in September.
Leon Smith’s side qualified for the group stage by defeating Colombia 3-1 away in February.
The 2015 champions will look to perform better on home soil than last September in Glasgow when defeats against the USA and the Netherlands saw Great Britain fail to reach the ‘Final 8’ knockout competition, which was won by Canada.
Britain’s top three singles players, Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Jack Draper, were all called up for the Colombia tie – which was on clay at altitude with pressureless balls – alongside doubles specialists Neal Skupski and Joe Salisbury.
It remains to be seen whether Smith will recall Andy Murray to the squad for the Group B encounter back in Manchester or hand another chance to 21-year-old Draper, who recently beat the veteran Scot in the last 32 at Indian Wells.
Australia’s challenge is likely to be led by world number 18 Alex de Minaur and Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios.
Three-time Grand Slam champion and 2014 Davis Cup winner Stan Wawrinka will bring his experience to the Swiss team having helped them upset Germany in the qualifiers.
France – who last won the Davis Cup in 2017 and were runners-up the following year – will have veteran Richard Gasquet as their top-ranked singles player.
Smith is relishing the challenge, saying: “It’s a really competitive group with four big nations that all have strength in depth.
“We have got great belief in our team. The players are hungry and can’t wait to make the most of playing at home in Manchester.”
Elsewhere in the draw, holders Canada are top seeds in Group A and will play in Bologna against hosts Italy, Sweden and Chile.
Group C will be in Valencia, where the world’s current top two Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are set to meet when Spain take on Serbia, with the Czech Republic and South Korea completing the line-up.
Croatia will host Group D at a venue still to be confirmed, against the Netherlands, USA and Finland.
The winners and runners-up from each group will advance to a six-day shoot-out for the trophy in Malaga during late November.
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