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Great Britain Draw USA in First Round of Davis Cup World Group 2014

UMAG, CROATIA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Team GB (L-R) Louis Cayer, Matt Little, Colin Fleming, Leon Smith, Ross Hutchins, Andy Murray Daniel Evans, Jonny Marray, Colin Beecher and James Ward celebrate during day three of the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie between Croatia and Great Britain at Stadion Stella Maris on September 15, 2013 in Umag, Croatia.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Ben BlackmoreFeatured Columnist IIIDecember 23, 2016

Great Britain's long-awaited first step back onto the world stage will take them to the U.S., following Wednesday's Davis Cup World Group first-round draw.   

Britain have not been part of the World Group since 2008, but a 4-1 victory over Croatia led them back to the top table.

In what is surely the pick of the first-round ties, Andy Murray and Co. will face Team USA, as reported by ESPN.co.uk:

Great Britain last faced the United States in 1999, when Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski went down 3-2 to Jim Courier, Todd Martin and Alex O'Brien in a tie that remained in the balance until Rusedski fell to Courier 8-6 in the fifth set of the final rubber.

The US holds an 11-7 head-to-head record over Great Britain since winning the inaugural Davis Cup encounter in 1900.

The tie is a distinctly winnable one for Great Britain, who travel to the U.S. at a time when their hosts are by no means a world force. No longer can they boast an Andy Roddick or Pete Sampras, so there should be nothing that intimidates Leon Smith's men.

Sam Querrey and John Isner will be the anticipated singles representatives, both of whom Andy Murray would be expected to defeat, despite his evident frustration with the sluggish draw process:

Assuming Murray does win both of his own singles rubbers, it would leave Team GB needing one more victory, either from the remaining two singles ties or the doubles.

Their hosts boast the world’s No. 1 pairing in Bob and Mike Bryan, who have won 15 Grand Slam doubles titles together.

So it could come down to the form of James Ward or Dan Evans, the latter of whom recently made waves at the U.S. Open by shocking Kei Nishikori and Bernard Tomic.

Notable ties elsewhere see Serbia host Switzerland, bringing together a potential clash between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal’s Spain will head to Germany, while current champions Czech Republic begin their campaign against Netherlands. 

The ties begin five days after the climax to the Australian Open, taking place between January 31 and February 2.

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