Great Britain to host Slovakia in Davis Cup

Great Britain Davis Cup team
Great Britain will hope Murray (second left) remains in the Davis Cup squad

Great Britain will host Slovakia in their first Davis Cup match back in Europe/Africa Zone Group I in February.

Victory against Hungary last week earned Britain promotion back to the second tier of the competition for the first time since 2009.

They have set their sights on a return to the World Group and this will be their fifth home fixture in a row.

"We know next year will be a real step up, but that's what we aimed for," said captain Leon Smith.

"The tie against Slovak Republic will be really tough. They have two guys inside the world's top 100 and a third player at 152, so they are strong in singles, but it's doubles where they have some particularly good options, with three players inside the top 100.

"That said, with a home tie we'll be able to use the crowd to our advantage, which will be really important if we're to get off to a winning start.

"We wanted to get promotion to Group I so we could play the stronger nations, really test ourselves and show that we can progress within the competition."

Slovakia's top-ranked player, Karol Beck, has not played Davis Cup since failing a drugs test during a tie against Argentina six years ago, but Martin Klizan is also ranked in the top 100, while number three Lukas Lacko is an experienced ATP World Tour player.

Much is expected to depend on whether British number one Andy Murray decides he can play, with number two James Ward facing an uphill task to win either of his singles rubbers.

After the Hungary tie, Murray admitted: "I'll need to have a look at my schedule."

If Murray plays, and with doubles pair Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins establishing themselves among the world's elite this season, Britain would be reasonably confident of victory, which would secure a second-round match against Belgium.

If they then defeat Belgium, they can look forward to a World Group play-off.

The venue for the 10-12 February tie will be announced at a later date, with the last two having been played at Glasgow's Braehead Arena.