OTTAWA, November 16, 2016
Tennis Canada announced Wednesday that The Arena at TD Place at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, Ontario will be the host site for the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first-round tie between Canada and Great Britain. The event will take place from February 3-5, 2017.
“It’s been more than two decades since Davis Cup has been held in Ottawa and the timing is right now to bring it back,” said Gavin Ziv, vice-president, professional events, Tennis Canada. “Playing Great Britain in the nation’s capital during the Canada 150 celebration year presented a perfect opportunity and we could not be more excited about it. We are thrilled to be partnering with the City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, Government of Canada and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) to make this event a huge success for the team and the many tennis fans in Ottawa who have been eager to see this event live.”
Matches will be played on an indoor hard court and will be the first ever tennis event held at the venue. The last Davis Cup tie contested in Ottawa was more than 20 years ago when Canada defeated Jamaica 5-0 in a Group II zonal tie at the Ottawa Athletic Club in February 1994. The last time the Canadian Davis Cup team played in Ontario was a 5-0 victory over Dominican Republic at the Aviva Centre in Toronto in 2010.
“We are thrilled to host this important Davis Cup tie at TD Place,” said Bernie Ashe, CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), which manages TD Place and the surrounding Lansdowne entertainment district. “The matchup between Great Britain and Canada is the marquee first-round tie for the competition. It’s a privilege to be able to present it to our Ottawa/Gatineau fans during Ottawa 2017 celebrations. Thanks to Tennis Canada for making it possible.”
Canada will be competing in the elite 16-team World Group for a sixth straight year after defeating Chile 5-0 in the World Group play-offs in September. They were relegated to the play-off round after a 5-0 loss to France on the road in the first round in March. Canada has experienced tremendous Davis Cup success over the past few years, reaching the semifinals for the first time in the country’s history in 2013 and returning to the quarter-finals for a second time in 2015.
Great Britain recently returned to Davis Cup glory, capturing the title for the first time in 79 years in 2015. Led by the world’s newest No. 1 player and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray in singles, and doubles world No. 4 Jamie Murray, the team also reached the semifinals this year, losing in September to Argentina 3-2 in a fifth and deciding rubber.
Canada and Great Britain have only played once in the history of Davis Cup, with the Brits posting a 4-1 win in Bournemouth, England back in May 1967. As current defending champions, Great Britain is the No. 1 ranked Davis Cup country in the world and will be the seeded nation for this tie. Canada is currently ranked No. 12.
“We are really excited to be making a long overdue return to Ottawa for Davis Cup,” said Canadian team captain Martin Laurendeau. “We are always at our best when we play at home in front of loud, patriotic crowds and that is exactly what we will need here to defeat a strong team from Great Britain. This will be the first time many of our guys will play in this city and we are really looking forward to introducing a new generation of tennis fans to the passion and excitement that is Davis Cup.”
Laurendeau will select the four-man team to represent Canada at a later date. In 2016, Canada was represented in Davis Cup by five players – Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic, Philip Bester, Adil Shamasdin and Denis Shapovalov. Due to various injury-related and personal reasons, Canada was without top singles player Milos Raonic and Davis Cup doubles stalwart Daniel Nestor for both ties in 2016. Both Nestor and Raonic have been committed team members in the past, with Raonic playing every year from 2010-2015 and Nestor only missing three ties in the last 15 seasons.
The winner of this tie in February will move on to the World Group quarter-finals and will also be assured to keep their spot in the World Group for the following year. The losing nation will be forced to play a World Group play-off tie to keep their spot in the elite level for 2018.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport with more than 135 nations competing on annual basis. Only 16 countries entered in Davis Cup competition qualify for the World Group each year.
Tickets will go on sale to the public on November 25 and will be available online at TDPlace.ca