With the Davis Cup re-appearing early next month, France and Switzerland have named their squads for the first round matches in the World Group. The Swiss will be without Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka as they travel to Italy, whilst the French have the luxury of calling for four players within the world's top twenty for their clash with Canada.
The Swiss Head to Italy Without Federer and Wawrinka
As predicted, Federer and Wawrinka will not feature for Switzerland in the first round of the Davis Cup, as both will focus on their own campaigns on the ATP Tour. The Swiss travel to Italy, who boast an impressive side including Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi, although their official side for the tie is yet to be announced.
The 2014 winners announced that Henri Laaksonen, Marco Chiudinelli, Adrien Bossel and Antoine Bellier will be the team travelling to Pesaro. Bellier makes his debut in the Davis Cup without any experience on the pro tour, whilst Laaksonen, Bossel and Chiudinelli have played sporadically over the last few years. Chiudinelli was in the squad for the 2014 World Group final against the French.
The side will arrive in Italy looking to build on their first-round defeat to eventual runners-up Belgium.
France Name A Talented Squad
When Switzerland clinched their maiden Davis Cup title, their opponents were France, who are the other side to have named their squad for the upcoming campaign.
Unlike the Swiss, France can call for their best players, with four of the world's top twenty players making up a strong-looking side. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon will be the players taking on Canada in Guadeloupe, aiming to improve on their quarter-final exit to Great Britain in last year's event.
Canada could arrive with Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil within their ranks, but the match is due to take place on clay giving a huge advantage to the home side. Whilst the French side is hugely talented, and perhaps the most in-depth, their lack of a doubles specialist could affect their chances, given that the Canadians will possibly name Daniel Nestor in the side alongside Pospisil who won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2014.
The two World Group first round ties, alongside six others, will be played on the weekend commencing 4th March.