Switzerland to head to Italy for Davis Cup

LONDON: With or without Roger Federer, Switzerland must travel to Italy in September to try to keep its spot in the top tier of the Davis Cup.

Italy and Switzerland were drawn Tuesday to face each other in the World Group playoffs. Italy is the home team for the Sept. 18-20 best-of-five series.

With Federer missing due to a bad back, Switzerland lost 4-1 to the United States in the opening round in Birmingham, Alabama, in March.

Italy beat Slovakia 4-1 in a Europe/Africa zonal group match to qualify for the World Group playoffs.

Federer, winner of 13 Grand Slam titles, hasn't announced yet whether he plans to play.

The eight playoff winners advance to the 2010 16-team World Group, while the losers go into the zonal groups for next year.

In other matchups, the Netherlands hosts France, Novak Djokovic's Serbia is at home against Uzbekistan, Romania travels to Sweden, and India goes to South Africa. Also, it's Chile vs. Austria, Belgium vs. Ukraine and Brazil vs. Ecuador.