TORONTO, September 6, 2016
Tennis Canada announced Tuesday the Canadian team nominated to compete in the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie between Canada and Chile being held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ontario), Daniel Nestor (Toronto), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver) and Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, Ont.) were named to the squad by captain Martin Laurendeau to compete on an indoor hard court at the Scotiabank Centre from September 16-18.
The Chile Tennis Federation also named their team that will head to Halifax to take on the Canadian squad. They selected Christian Garin (No. 275), Nicolas Jarry (No. 484), Gonzalo Lama (No. 172) and world No. 65 in doubles Hans Podlipnik-Castillo. They are led by two-time Olympic gold medalist and former Top 10 player Nicolas Massu as their team captain.
“Chile has some talented young players and has been on a pretty successful run in Davis Cup play over the last two years,” said Laurendeau. “We have a very experienced team that will not make the mistake of underestimating our opponents. We are preparing for a tough match-up but we also know that if we play to our abilities we are an extremely strong team that belongs in the World Group. We have a very good track record at home ties and expect a loud and passionate crowd cheering us on in Halifax like we had there two years ago to help spur us to victory.”
Unfortunately, Canada’s top singles player, Milos Raonic, is unavailable for the tie due to some lingering effects of the cramping he experienced during his second-round match at the US Open last week.
“It is with great disappointment that I must announce that I am unable to participate in the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Chile,” Raonic said. “Following the extreme cramping I experienced during my US Open match last week, I must undergo further testing and recovery, and I cannot compete at this time. Good luck to my Canadian teammates as they head to Halifax to play in front of our tremendous home crowd.”
Dancevic has been a regular member of Canada’s Davis Cup team since 2002, missing just one year of competition when he was hindered with a back injury in 2008. At 23 ties played, he is one of only four Canadians to receive the Davis Cup Commitment Award for playing at least 20 ties for your country. He is currently ranked No. 224 on the ATP World Tour rankings.
This is Nestor’s 24th year playing Davis Cup, as he adds to the Canadian Davis Cup records he already holds, including most wins (47), most doubles wins (32), and most ties played (49). Currently ranked world No. 12 in doubles, Nestor is coming off a successful summer partnering with Pospisil as the duo reached the semifinals at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, the Rio Olympics and the Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati. He is third on the all-time list for most doubles titles in the Open Era with 90 and earlier this year became the first doubles player in history to reach 1,000 match victories.
Pospisil will be playing his 13th tie for Canada in Davis Cup. He has been an integral part of the team since 2011, when he posted a 6-1 record through three ties and nearly single-handedly won Canada’s World Group play-off against Israel. Last year, he captured the fifth and deciding rubber in the first round against Japan to send Canada to the quarter-finals. He is currently ranked No. 123 in singles and No. 14 in doubles.
Shapovalov is the rookie of the squad, being named to the team for the first time after having served as a hitting partner at one previous tie. He has had a tremendous year, transitioning from a full-time junior player to lower-level professional events. He currently sits at No. 4 on the ITF Junior Rankings, having won the Junior Wimbledon title in July after also reaching the Junior French Open semifinals. On the pro circuit, he has captured three Futures titles, reached two Challenger semifinals and played in his first two ATP World Tour main draws, winning his first ATP level match against Top 20 player Nick Kyrgios at Rogers Cup in Toronto. He has catapulted his ATP ranking from No. 1130 to start the year to a current career-high of No. 246.
Canada is the seeded team with a Davis Cup world ranking of No. 12. Chile is ranked No. 23 in the world. This will be the ninth time the two countries have played each other in Davis Cup with the record standing at an even 4-4. In those eight previous match-ups, the home country has won each time. The last time they met was in 2008 where Chile defeated Canada 3-2 in a zone group semifinal in Santiago.
Canada started the season in the World Group for the fifth consecutive year. The team played its first-round tie on the road against France in Guadeloupe. Canada was without top players Raonic and Nestor for that tie, which led to a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the French who will be competing in the semifinals of the competition next weekend against Croatia.
Chile has reached the World Group play-offs for the first time in four years after defeating Dominican Republic and Colombia in the Americas Zone Group I first and second rounds, respectively. Chile is currently on a six-tie win streak, and claimed victory in all three of its 2015 match-ups to advance out of Americas Zone Group II for 2016. The last time the country qualified for the elite 16-team World Group was in 2011.
Canada must win to remain in the World Group for 2017. A loss would relegate the team back to Americas Zone Group I for next year where it has not played since 2011.
Tickets for the tie are still available for as low as $20 and can be purchased online at www.ticketatlantic.com