The opening round of 2012 Davis Cup Ties get underway Friday, and there are some electric match-ups in the World Group…
For starters, the Americans face a huge test in Switzerland, facing both Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. After the draw, Mardy Fish will face Wawrinka in the first match, followed by John Isner and Roger Federer. On Saturday, the Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison will face Fed/Waw (Bob’s back home with his wife and newborn). And then Sunday, John and Mardy swap opponents. They’re playing on clay, indoors…the last time Isner played under these conditions, he took Rafa to 5-sets – we’ll see how well he fares against Roger on Friday.
Other World Group Ties around the world include: Kazakhstan in Spain, Russia in Austria, France in Canada, Italy at the Czech Republic, Sweden in Serbia (sans Djokovic), Croatia in Japan, and Argentina in Germany.
Now, the World Group Playoff Fed Cup Draw happens Valentine’s Day, and after the U.S. (5-0) win over Belarus in Worcester last weekend, Team USA is seeded first in the play-off round, vying to get back in the World Group Draw for 2013. Belgium is seeded second, SPain third and Australia fourth. After the draw, we’ll find out if the U.S. will face Germany, Japan, Slovak Repubic or Ukraine.
After thier losses in the Group II play over the weekend, France is seeded first in the Group II Playoffs, followed by Switzerland. Belarus and Slovenia are unseeded for the Group II playoff draw. Meanwhile, after their wins in other Group action last weekend, Sweden is seeded third for the Group II playoff, while Argentina is seeded fourth. Winners China and Great Britain will also be part of the Group II draw on Valentine’s Day.
Fed Cup World Group and World Group II playoffs will played 21-22 April, the same weekend as the World Group Semifinals featuring Serbia in Russia and Italy at Czech Republic.
Hope you can catch some of the action this weekend. If not, no worries, I’ll recap the Ties for you early next week.
C’mon Isner and Fish, doubles aren’t necessarily a given this go ’round!