The International Tennis Federation announced on Friday that the Davis Cup tie between Great Britain and Italy will take place in Naples on the clay courts at the Tennis Club Napoli. The last time a Davis Cup tie was held in Naples was the 2012 World Group play-off between Italy and Chile which Italy won 4-1.
British No. 1 Andy Murray has been confirmed for the event, as have top Italians Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi, both of whom are well adjusted to clay court competition.
“The Italians have a very strong team and we’re under no illusions as to how difficult this will be,” Smith said. “The matches will be played in front of a very passionate home crowd so we look forward to seeing as many British supporters out there as possible – it makes a huge difference to the team.”
Italy will be contesting their second consecutive World Group quarterfinal, after losing last year 3-1 to Canada. They will be looking to top that performance with a victory over the British team, who are into a Davis Cup quarter-final for the first time since 1986, this year.
The two nations have previously met on 15 different occasions, with Italy leading the head-to-head series 11-4. Italy have also won 10 of the last 11 meetings, with their last win coming in 1984. This will be a tough tie for the Great Britain team, who will be contesting the tie on their weakest surface.