Great Britain will play Ukraine at home in their opening match of the 2009 Davis Cup.

John Lloyd`s team are back in the Euro-Africa Zone I - effectively the second division of the competition - after the weekend`s 3-2 defeat to Austria saw them relegated from the elite World Group.

They received a first-round bye in Tuesday`s draw in Madrid and were then paired with Ukraine, a side they beat 3-2 away in 2006, in the second round.

The match will take place from May 8-10.

Ukraine are currently 41st in the Davis Cup rankings. Britain are 24th.

They have just one player in the world`s top 200 singles rankings - Sergiy Stakhovsky, who is currently 83rd in the ATP list.

Lloyd, happy to have avoided a tricky trip to Italy, told the LTA`s official website: "This is definitely a match we are capable of winning. Stakhovsky is a good young player who is on the up and can play well on any surface but I think this a good draw for us.

"Now it`s time for us to do a bit of research on what is the best surface for the players so I`ll spend some time studying the results of their players over the last year and start thinking about where we`re going to play.

"They will be full of confidence after a 5-0 win against Portugal to make it into this group but we beat them last time when we had to travel away so I`m confident that we will be able to do it again."

A fast surface would favour the British but with the match coming in the middle of the claycourt season, team star Andy Murray may request it to be played on the red dirt as he controversially pulled out of a Davis Cup tie earlier this year, citing change of surface as his reason for doing so.

At the time, he said a change of surface (from hard to clay) increased the chance of adding to his injury problems.

If Great Britain win that tie they will progress to a World Group promotion play-off in September.

Sporting Life