Tennis-Federer's Switzerland to visit U.S. in Davis Cup opener

MADRID, Sept 23 Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:11pm BST

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MADRID, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Roger Federer's Switzerland team will travel to face the United States in the first round of the 2009 Davis Cup World Group, after the draw in Madrid on Tuesday.

Switzerland will face the 2007 winners on March 6-8 in a tie that could feature the world's number one ranked doubles pair, and the Olympic gold medal winning pair.

In recent years Federer has opted out of playing in the first-round due to the scheduling conflicts but with the tie taking place just before the start of the American hardcourt season, the five-times U.S. Open champion could at long last commit himself to his country's cause.

In another fascinating tie, the 2008 finalists Spain will host Serbia, which could see world number one Rafael Nadal facing number three Novak Djokovic.

The 110th edition of the Davis Cup has 125 countries entered for next year.

In new developments, organisers said that players will collect ATP ranking points for matches played in the Davis Cup next year, and that dates for the rounds had been modified to better fit in with the ATP calendar.

Quarter-final ties will be played on July 10-12, the semi-finals on Sept. 18-20 and the final on Dec. 4-6.

The other 2008 finalists Argentina, were drawn at home to Netherlands, while the 2006 winners Russia, who have been in the semi-finals for the last four years in a row, visit Romania.

The 2005 winners Croatia have home advantage to another newly-promoted team Chile.

France travel to face Czech Republic, Sweden host Israel and Germany are at home against Austria.

(Writing by Mark Elkington, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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