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Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Britain facing tough task
Lleyton Hewitt
Australia's Lleyton Hewitt is the world number one

Great Britain are facing a daunting trip to Australia in the first round of next year's Davis Cup world group competition.

Without a win in the world group since 1986, Britain will play a home team featuring world number one Lleyton Hewitt.

Victory for captain Roger Taylor's men over the third seeds will take them through to the quarter-finals in April.


I know Tim and Greg are both planning to be playing again soon
Roger Taylor

Taylor is under no illusions about the task facing his team.

"It's a a very difficult match," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

Failure to win the tie next February will mean the British playing off again to retain their place among the competition's elite.

Tim Henman led Great Britain to a 3-2 victory over Thailand last month to preserve their world group status.

He and British number two Greg Rusedski are both out with injuries at present, underlining the squad's lack of depth.

US challenge

But Taylor said: "I know they're both planning to be playing again soon, and hopefully it won't be too long before they're fully fit."

Top seeds France, who won the 2001 title by beating Australia in Melbourne, and Russia were also given away fixtures.

France, who meet Russia in next month's 2002 final, travel to Romania while Russia visit the Czech Republic.

Thursday's draw in London also landed the USA a tricky visit to Croatia.

In other first round matches, Argentina host Germany, Spain entertain Belgium, Sweden host Brazil and the Dutch welcome Switzerland.


The full draw (prefix denotes seedings):

Romania v (1) France
(8) Netherlands v Switzerland
(3) Australia v Britain
(6) Sweden v Brazil
Croatia v (5) United States
(4) Spain v Belgium
(7) Argentina v Germany
Czech Republic (2) Russia

Ties to be played 7-9 February, 2003.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Alastair Eykyn
"Another battle with the old enemy"
Davis Cup captain Roger Taylor
"All Davis Cup matches are difficult"
See also:

27 Sep 02 | Tennis
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