Davis Cup teams announced for Canada vs. Italy World Group quarterfinal
March 26, 2013 · Print This Article
Toronto, March 26, 2013 – Tennis Canada announced Tuesday the Miele Canadian Davis Cup team nominated to compete in the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarter-final tie between Canada and Italy.
Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ontario), Daniel Nestor (Toronto), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver) and Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ontario) were named to the squad by captain Martin Laurendeau to compete on an indoor hard court at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver from April 5-7, 2013. Jesse Levine (Ottawa), Filip Peliwo (Vancouver) and Adil Shamasdin (Toronto) will also be travelling to Vancouver with the team as part of an extended squad of players. Available members of the team are currently taking part in a training camp to prepare for the tie at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal before heading to Vancouver later this week.
The Italian Tennis Federation also announced the team that will head to Vancouver to face-off against Canada. They selected world No. 19 Andreas Seppi, current No. 2 doubles team Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini as well as No. 59 Paolo Lorenzi. Fognini is also a highly-ranked singles player at No. 36.
“Any team that reaches the final eight in Davis Cup competition is going to be a very tough group of players and this is definitely true of Italy,” said Laurendeau. “We have the same group of guys already in Montreal working hard to get ready to play this team and we will continue the preparation in Vancouver next week leading up to the tie. We are still on a high from making history in February and we want to ride that momentum, take advantage of this opportunity and keep this going into the semifinals.”
Dancevic has competed for Canada’s Davis Cup team every year since 2002 except when he was hampered with a back injury in 2008. He holds an impressive 13-5 record in Davis Cup matches played on home soil. One of his biggest career Davis Cup victories came during February’s tie against Spain when he defeated their top singles player Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to give Canada a resounding 2-0 lead after the first day of play. Dancevic has come through for his team in big moments in the past as he clinched the fifth and deciding rubber against Brazil in 2003 to send Canada back to the World Group after more than a decade absence. Dancevic recently qualified for the Masters 1000 event in Miami last week but fell in the first round to Lukasz Kubot.
Nestor holds the record for most years played by a Canadian in Davis Cup at 21. He also holds the record for most wins (44), most doubles wins (29), and most ties played (43). He was awarded a Davis Cup Commitment Award from the ITF at the tie in February for his exemplary dedication to playing for his country. Nestor holds 80 ATP World Tour doubles titles, which is fourth on the all-time list, and holds a career Golden Slam (all four Grand Slam trophies and an Olympic Gold medal). He is currently ranked No. 5 on the ATP World Tour doubles rankings.
Pospisil will be playing his eighth tie for Canada in Davis Cup. He was a key contributor to Canada’s return to the World Group in 2011, going 6-1 in the three ties he played and nearly single-handedly winning the World Group play-off versus Israel. Currently No. 129 in singles, Pospisil qualified for the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells earlier this month and was a finalist at the $35K Rimouski Challenger in Quebec this past weekend.
The highest-ranked singles player nominated to play this upcoming tie at No. 16 in the world, Raonic has had a successful start to the 2013 season. In addition to tying his career-best fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open in January, he also won his third consecutive SAP Open title at San Jose and reached the fourth round at Indian Wells earlier this month. Raonic is on a 5-0 Davis Cup singles win streak dating back to the World Group tie against France last year. He won both of his singles matches in the play-off against South Africa and the historic victory over Spain earlier this year.
Canada is entering uncharted territory for this upcoming tie as it is the country’s first Davis Cup quarter-final appearance in history. It has been 15 years since Italy was last in this stage of the competition as they finished as runners-up in 1998. Canada is the higher-ranked team at No. 8 with Italy sitting right behind at No. 9. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
The winner of this tie will move on to the semifinals in September versus the winner of a tie between Serbia and the United States. The loser will be eliminated from 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas competition, but both nations have already qualified for World Group action in 2014 because of their first-round victories.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport with 130 nations competing. Only 16 countries entered in Davis Cup competition qualify for the World Group each year.