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U.S. Plays Brazil In First Round, Germany At Spain

October 8, 1996

LONDON (AP) _ The United States will play at Brazil in the first round of next year’s Davis Cup, the first time they will meet in the annual competition since 1966.

In the other first-round match-ups, determined by Tuesday’s draw, the Netherlands plays at Romania, France at Australia, India at the Czech Republic, Mexico at Italy, Germany at Spain, Russia at South Africa, and Switzerland at Sweden.

Of the eight Feb. 7-9 first-round World Group matches, the toughest draw appears to be Germany at Spain, where Spain is sure to have the match played on red clay _ its speciality. Germany leads the series 9-3.

The Brazil-United States match should be lively.

Last month, Austrian Thomas Muster walked off the court in a Davis Cup match in Sao Paulo, alleging he felt unsafe because of some zealous, cursing Brazilian fans.

But the Davis Cup Committee ruled Monday that Muster’s walkout was unjustified and termed security at the match ``very good.″ Austria defaulted the match 4-1, moving Brazil into the prestigious Davis Cup World Group.

The United States leads Brazil 2-1 in Davis Cup play, although Brazil won the last time they met.

The second-round of the World Group is April 4-6, when the Americans would face either the Dutch or Romanians. In the other pairings, the France-Australia winner meets either the Czechs or India, Mexico or Italy will play the Spain-Germany winner, and the winner of Russia-South Africa will face either Sweden or Switzerland.

The semifinals are Sept. 19-21 with the final Nov. 28-30.

In this year’s final, France plays Sweden Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at Malmur, Sweden.

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