World Group action starts in


12 June 2012

World Group play-off venues announced


Photo: Marcelo RuschelHarmonia Tenis Clube, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil

The ITF has announced all of the venues for the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs on 14-16 September.

Kazakhstan v Uzbekistan

Venue: National Tennis Centre
Location: Astana, Kazakhstan
Surface: Indoor clay

Kazakhstan have played three Davis Cup ties at their National Tennis Centre in Astana and are yet to be beaten. In fact, they haven't even lost a rubber at the venue having recorded three 5-0 wins, most recently against Switzerland in 2010.

This will be a first ever meeting between these two Asian neighbours. Kazakhstan are looking to extend their two-year stay in the World Group, while Uzbekistan are bidding to reach the top division for the first time.

Germany v Australia

Venue: Rothenbaum Stadium
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Surface: Outdoor clay

Germany are staging their first Davis Cup tie in Hamburg since 1998. The Rothenbaum Stadium, which also hosts an ATP clay court event in July, features a retractable roof and has a capacity of over 13,000 seats.

Germany and Australia have played each other six times but surprisingly - given that both teams have spent long periods in the World Group - they have only met twice since 1938. Overall, the Aussies lead 4-2 in their series.

Japan v Israel

Venue: Ariake Coliseum
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Surface: Outdoor hard

Japan have played four Davis Cup ties at the Ariake Coliseum and own a 3-1 record. After a 10-year gap, they made a winning return to the venue against India in last year's World Group play-offs.

The Ariake Coliseum, which has a capacity of 8,000 for this tie, was opened in 1987 and is also used as the Centre Court for the ATP and WTA events held in Tokyo.

The paths of Japan and Israel have never previously crossed in Davis Cup. Japan are bidding to retain their World Group status, while Israel are vying for promotion.

Belgium v Sweden

Venue: Royal Primerose Tennis Club
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Surface: Outdoor clay

Belgium are playing at the Royal Primerose Tennis Club - which also hosts the Brussels Open, a WTA event - for the first time since they defeated Switzerland 3-2 at the same venue in 1999. That was also the last time they staged a tie in Brussels.

Sweden hold a 5-3 lead over Belgum in their head-to-head count, helped by winning the last four ties in their series. However, Sweden and Belgium have only met once in the last 40 years, in 1996, when the Swedes triumphed in Katrineholm.

Canada v South Africa

Venue: Uniprix Stadium
Location: Montreal, Canada
Surface: Outdoor hard

South Africa and Canada have met just once before in Davis Cup, but that was way back in 1913 on neutral ground at Queen’s Club in London, so when the two teams were drawn against each other this time the home advantage was decided by lot.

South Africa were initially awarded choice of ground, but asked to switch and play in Canada for financial reasons. The Davis Cup Committee approved the appeal and Tennis Canada agreed to stage the tie, with the city of Montreal hosting a Davis Cup tie for the first time since 1997.

Brazil v Russia

Venue: Harmonia Tenis Clube
Location: Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil
Surface: Outdoor clay

Brazil played at the Harmonia Tenis Clube for the first time in April when they defeated Colombia to reach this stage. The venue was built in 1975 and will have a capacity of 6,000 temporary seats for this tie.

This is a repeat of the same stage of the competition last year in Kazan when Russia retained their World Group status by edging Brazil 3-2 in an epic tie that was decided in the fifth rubber. That was their only previous meeting.

Italy v Chile

Venue: Tennis Club Napoli
Location: Napoli, Italy
Surface: Outdoor clay

Italy are playing at Tennis Club Napoli for the first time since beating Czech Republic at the venue in the World Group first round in 1995. The club, which is over 100 years old, will have a capacity of 4,000 temporary seats for this tie.

This is a repeat of last year's World Group play-off tie in Santiago when Italy claimed a routine win over Chile to retain their place in Davis Cup's top division. The two nations have met five times and the Italians are yet to be defeated.

Netherlands v Switzerland

Venue: Westergasfabriek
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Surface: Outdoor clay

Netherlands and Switzerland have faced each other on seven past occasions with the Swiss leading the series 4-3, although the Dutch recorded a 3-2 away win the last time they clashed in 2005.

Bizarrely, playing at home has rarely proved an advantage when these two teams have met in the past and Netherlands have never actually defeated Switzerland on home soil, so they will be hoping to change that statistic when the two teams go head-to-head at the temporary 6,000-seater Westergasfabriek stadium in Amerstam.

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