The new rules put in place at the International Tennis Federation annual general meeting last August allow for Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams who have reached the finals to automatically have choice of ground for their first-round ties the following season.
What wasn’t clear at first is that this wasn’t an automatic.
So after the draw took place Sept. 20 in London, the teams not initially drawn to play at home were given two weeks to exercise the option.
To no one’s surprise, both Belgium’s Davis Cup team and the U.S.’s Fed Cup team exercised those options in short order.
Belgium, which meets France in the Davis Cup final, had been drawn to play away in Hungary. Instead, they will play at home Feb. 2-4, 2018.
And the USA Fed Cup team, which travels to Belarus for the final in Minsk Nov. 11-12, also was drawn to play away, against the Netherlands.
The Americans now will host the tie, to take place Feb. 11-12, 2018.