Italy won all four previous ties played between these two countries, the last one dating back to 1985.
Chile slipped to a 4-1 defeat against USA in the World Group first round in Santiago. The Americans welcomed back Andy Roddick, who missed the 2010 campaign, and he won both his singles rubbers that, added to the doubles point won by the Bryans, sent Chile to the World Group relegation playoffs.
Italy comprehensively beat Slovenia in a Europe/Africa Group I final in which a World Group playoff place was at stake. The Italians secured the triumph in the second day with victories by Fabio Fognini, Potito Starace and the doubles Starace/Bracciali.
The Italians reached the World Group for the last time in 2000 and have failed to promote in the four occasions that they have reached the playoffs. On the other hand, Chile have played in the World Group over the last 3 years.