India to face world no. 4 Serbia in World Group 1st round

New Delhi: In an extremely tough draw, India
were on Wednesday pitted against world number four Serbia, for their
first round tie in the elite World Group of the Davis Cup.

For India, who retained their World Group berth by
beating Brazil 3-2 in the play-offs, it will be an away tie,
to held from March 4 to 6 next year. The draw was made in
Brussels today.

The formidable Serbians have already qualfied for the
this year`s final after beating Czech Republic 3-2. They will
clash with France in the Championship tie in December.

Serbia, top seeds in the elite 16-team World Group, have
world number two Novak Djokovic and two other top-50 players
in Janko Tipsarevic (34) and Viktor Troicki (47) in its ranks
apart from Nenad Zimonjic, world number three in doubles.

At present, India do not have any top-100 player, though
Somdev Devvarman (117) and Rohan Bopanna (473) showed that in
Davis Cup rankings counts for little as they disposed off
challenges from world number 27 Thomaz Bellucci and 74th
ranked Ricardo Mello, respectively in the play-offs against
Brazil last week.

India`s non-playing captain S P Misra rued luck was not
on their side but vowed to put up a fight against the strong

"It`s worst possible draw for us. We could have got a
home tie, had any of the other five teams from Spain, Russia,
France, USA and Czech Republic been drawn against us," Misra
told reporters.

"Nevertheless, we will fight it out. Nothing is decided
till you play the last rubber. The players will get a chance
to prepare for the tie playing big tournaments such as
Australian Open. So we can hope that things may change in the
run up to the tie," he said.

Since it will be winter during that time in Serbia, they
may host the tie indoors.

"That`s what we presume. Hard courts are suitable. Let`s
see how it pans out," Misra said.

India and Serbia are tied 1-1 having met twice in the
tourney. The last time the two sides squared off was also a
World Group first round tie in 1988, which Serbia, then as
Yugoslavia, won 3-2 in New Delhi.

Prior to that, the only time they clashed was way back in
1927, when India won 3-0.