Britain draw Croatia in Davis Cup play-off

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Great Britain have been drawn away to Croatia in the Davis Cup World Group play-offs in September. Leon Smith’s side set up the opportunity to return to the top level of the competition for the first time since 2008 with a brilliant 3-2 victory over Russia in Coventry last weekend.

Yesterday’s draw ends a run of seven consecutive ties at home but, with Andy Murray having pledged to make himself available, it is one they will be confident of winning. The difficulty for Murray could be that the tie begins on 13 September, only four days after the US Open final, where he will hope to successfully defend his title.

Croatia will have the choice of venue and surface and it is not inconceivable the tie could be played on clay, potentially giving Murray little time to adjust to his least favourite surface.

Smith also faces a difficult choice in choosing between Dan Evans and James Ward to line-up alongside Murray. Evans, in particular, has stepped up, winning both his singles rubbers to guide Britain to victory over Slovakia last year and then beating top-80 player Evgeny Donskoy in the deciding rubber against Russia on Sunday. Ward had previously beaten Dmitry Tursunov to keep the tie alive after Britain had been 2-0 down.