Australia will kick off their 2017 Davis Cup World Group campaign with a home tie against the Czech Republic.
Lleyton Hewitt’s side reclaimed a place in the elite World Group with a 3-0 victory over Slovakia in Sydney last weekend, but missed out on a top-eight seeding spot leaving them with the prospect of facing a daunting opponent for the February 5-7 encounter.
The Czechs are likely to include world No.9 Tomas Berdych, Jiri Vesley (51) , Adam Pavlasek (80) and veteran Radek Stapanek (105) in their side for the tie which will take place at a venue that’s yet to be decided.
But there will be relief at avoiding potential clashes against Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, 2015 champions Britain and Andy Murray, top seeds Argentina or an away tie with Switzerland and Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.
This year’s finalists Croatia and top-ranked Argentina, who’ll meet in the decider that takes place on November 25-27, will both start their campaigns with home ties against Spain and Italy respectively.
Britain will start with a trip to Canada, while Belgium, the team they beat for the 2015 title, open their tournament away to Germany.
The United States host Switzerland, Japan meet France and Serbia take on Russia in the other first round ties.