Australia will host the United States in the opening round of the 2016 Davis Cup World Group following Wednesday night’s draw in Chile.
The Aussies went into the pool of 16 teams as the lowest ranked seed (8th) following last weekend’s semi-final exit to Great Britain in Glasgow.
The tie, which will be played on 4-6 March next year, pits together the two most successful nations in Davis Cup history, with the USA having won 32 titles to Australia’s 28.
Captain Wally Masur will be forced to field a new-look side following the retirement of veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who played his last match in the team event in the five set doubles loss to the Murray brothers.
Talented rising star Nick Kyrgios is likely to be recalled having been rested from the clash following a turbulent 2015 season.
Hewitt could still yet be courtside come March, with a succession plan in place for him to replace Masur as team captain after his expected retirement at next year’s Australian Open.
The Aussies will likely come up against a team led by world no.13 John Isner, with captain John Courier also having the likes of Sam Querry and Steve Johnson at his disposal.
The Americans have lost to Great Britain in the first round for the past two years, while Australia came within a whisker of reaching November’s final after they were shaded 3-2 by the Brits.
The venue and surface for the US match-up is still to be determined although Masur has indicated the Aussies may move away from their traditionally preferred grass.
Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane loom as preferred destinations for what will be a huge clash and given recent home ties have been played in Perth and Darwin.
Belgium will host Great Britain in the 2015 Davis Cup World Group final, which will be played indoors on clay in Ghent.
World Group – First round (4-6 March 2016)
Australia v USA
Great Britain v Japan
Belgium v Croatia
Serbia v Kazakhstan
Italy v Switzerland
Poland v Argentina
France v Canada
Germany v Czech Republic