India will start their 2008 Davis Cup campaign with a home tie against Uzbekistan. It’s more or less certain that the Asia-Oceania Zone group I first round tie will be held at the R.K. Khanna Stadium in New Delhi, on 8-10 February.
Leander Paes’s team should be the favourites in that tie to be played on grass.
India and Uzbekistan have won one tie apiece. The Indians won in Jaipur in 2005, the Uzbeks triumphed 4-1 at home last year.
If they can pull it off next February, India’s next opponents will be the winner of the Philippines versus Japan clash. Victory in the second round will take India to the World Group play-off stage.
India couldn’t have hoped for a better draw. Had luck not gone their way, they could have come up against mighty Australia, who have been relegated to the zonal level.
The 28-time champions, placed in the top half of the eight-team draw, have been pitted against Chinese Taipei.
In the 16-team World Group, Asian representatives Korea face a tough away tie in Germany. This year’s finalists Russia and the US have difficult tasks as well. While Russia will host Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, the Americans will have to travel to Austria.