TORONTO, January 24, 2017
Tennis Canada announced Tuesday that Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Daniel Nestor, and Denis Shapovalov have been selected by team captain Martin Laurendeau to play against Great Britain in their upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first-round tie, set for February 3-5 at TD Place in Ottawa.
“This is an important tie for us, and we are bringing an experienced squad to Ottawa,” said Laurendeau. “Great Britain is a deep and talented team and will no doubt be a challenge, but we definitely feel we belong at this top level of Davis Cup and can advance further. We are preparing for a tough weekend of tennis and will do everything we can to post a victory. We are also very much looking forward to playing in the nation’s capital and really feeling the home court advantage in front of a full and loud crowd.”
Named by the British Lawn Tennis Association to play for Great Britain are world No. 46 Kyle Edmund, No. 51 Daniel Evans, doubles world No. 4 Jamie Murray, and doubles world No. 43 Dominic Inglot. The 2015 Davis Cup champions, the Brits are ranked No. 2 in Davis Cup and will be led by team captain Leon Smith.
This will be Raonic’s 12th Davis Cup tie for Canada, where he boasts a 16-6 record including 10-1 in singles on home soil. Ranked world No. 3, Raonic is currently in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, where he will face Rafael Nadal on Wednesday. Last year, he enjoyed his best season to date, making the Wimbledon final and Australian Open semifinals, winning his eighth ATP World Tour title at Brisbane, and making two other championship matches.
Pospisil was the leader in Canada’s recent World Group play-off, a 5-0 win over Chile in September. He is 14-13 in Davis Cup action, and has been an integral part of the team since 2011 when he went 3-0 against Israel to send Canada back into the World Group for the first time in eight years. Ranked world No. 135 in singles and No. 18 in doubles, he recently made the doubles final in Doha to start his season.
The longest-standing Davis Cup team member in Canada’s history, this will be Nestor’s 50th tie dating all the way back to 1992. Currently ranked world No. 15 in doubles, the 44-year-old captured three ATP World Tour titles last season and made the semifinals of Brisbane in the first week of 2017. He owns several Canadian Davis Cup records, including most years played (23), most ties played (49), and most total wins (47).
At the age of 17, Shapovalov is suiting up for Canada for the second time in Davis Cup play. He made his debut in Halifax last September, posting a straight-sets win in the fourth match of the tie. Ranked No. 234 on the pro circuit, he captured the Junior Wimbledon title just last year and recently posted a big victory over world No. 76 Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the $75,000 Canberra Challenger in Australia.
Sitting at No. 12 on the Davis Cup Nations Rankings, Canada is competing in the World Group for an unprecedented sixth straight year. Its best results in that stretch include a historic semifinal appearance in 2013 and the quarter-finals in 2015. After a first-round loss to France last year, the Canadian squad swept Chile in the World Group play-offs to stay in the upper echelon of Davis Cup play for another year.
After re-joining the World Group in 2014 for the first time in five years, Great Britain has been a force. In 2015, the country claimed its first Davis Cup trophy since 1936 and last year just missed out on the chance to defend its title, falling to Argentina 3-2 in the semifinals.
This will be the first time Canada and Great Britain face off since 1967, their only previous meeting in which the Brits won 4-1. The winner of this tie will advance into the quarter-finals in April while the loser will be forced to compete in September’s play-offs to stay in the World Group for 2018.