THE DAVIS CUP tennis series between Slovakia and Belgium begins today at Bratislava's National Tennis Centre (NTC). The series will determine whether Slovakia stays in the World Group or is relegated.
As decided by lot drawn on September 21, the singles kick off with Slovakia's number-one player, Dominik Hrbatý, playing Belgium's number-two player, Kristof Vliegen.
A match between Michal Mertinák and Olivier Rochus will follow later in the day.
The head coach of the Slovak Davis Cup tennis team, Miloslav Mecír, also nominated Hrbatý and Mertinák to play Dick Norman and Gilles Elseneer in a doubles match beginning at 14:00 on Saturday.
In Sunday's reverse singles encounters, Hrbatý will play Rochus, followed by Mertinák against Vliegen.
Slovakia's national Davis Cup team must fight to stay in the 16-team World Group after it was defeated by Chile (1:4) in Rancague, Chile in February 2006.
The Belgians are trying to return to the World Group after beating Ukraine (4:1) in Kiev in the second round of Group One of the Euro-African zone, the TASR news agency wrote.
Slovakia was a Davis Cup finalist last year but lost to Croatia in Bratislava.