January 21, 2014, Toronto (ISN) – Tennis Canada announced Tuesday the Canadian Davis Cup team nominated to compete in the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first-round tie between Canada and Japan in Tokyo.
Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ont.), Daniel Nestor (Toronto), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), and Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ont.) were named to the squad by captain Martin Laurendeau to compete on an indoor hard court at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan from January 31 – February 2. Peter Polansky (Thornhill, Ont.) and Adil Shamasdin (Toronto) will also be travelling to Tokyo with the team as part of an extended squad of players.
The Japan Tennis Federation also announced the team that will play in front of a home crowd of 8,000 people against Canada. They selected world No. 17 Kei Nishikori, No. 112 Go Soeda, No. 161 Yuichi Sugita, and No. 279 Yasutaka Uchiyama.
“We are very much looking forward to getting the 2014 Davis Cup season started, and building on our semifinal run from last year,” said Laurendeau. “This is the team that got us to the semifinals, and every player has grown into their role and knows what needs to be done for us to win. We are definitely looking to show that we are a team that can win every year. Japan has a talented squad led by Nishikori and we know they will be hungry to advance past the first round and keep their position in the World Group for next year. But we are prepared and looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
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. He has captured several huge wins while representing his country, and he played an important role in Canada’s run to the Davis Cup semifinals last year. Putting up an inspiring 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Spanish No. 1 Marcel Granollers in the first round, he gave Canada the stranglehold 2-0 lead against Spain. Dancevic is currently ranked world No. 122, and recently made it through qualifying to play his fifth Australian Open main draw, where he fell in the first round to Frenchman Benoit Paire.
This will be Nestor’s 22nd year playing Davis Cup, as he adds to the Canadian Davis Cup records he already holds, including most wins (46), most doubles wins (31), and most ties played (45). Nestor started the 2014 season by winning two consecutive titles in Brisbane and Sydney to make it a total of 83 ATP World Tour titles. Nestor, who has clinched at least one ATP trophy every season for the past 21 years, is now tied for third all-time for most doubles titles in the Open Era. Currently ranked world No. 21, Nestor is still undefeated this season as he and partner Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia are into the semifinals of the Australian Open. He also is in the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles draw with France’s Kristina Mladenovic.
Pospisil will be playing his 10th 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 and Nestor captured two incredible five-set victories in Davis Cup action, giving Canada a 2-1 lead in both its quarter-final tie versus Italy and semifinal tie against Serbia. After starting last season ranked world No.125, Pospisil has climbed to a current career-high of world No. 30, reaching four ATP World Tour semifinals, including at Rogers Cup in Montreal last August and at Chennai in the first week of the 2014 season. He reached the third round of a Slam for the first time at the Australian Open last week before being forced to withdraw with a back injury.
Raonic went 5-1 in Davis Cup action last year to help lead Canada to the semifinals. He won the clinching rubbers in both Canada’s first-round tie versus Spain and quarter-final tie against Italy, suffering his only loss to then-world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals. In 2013, Raonic became the first Canadian male singles player to reach Top 10 on the ATP World Tour rankings following a runner-up performance at Rogers Cup in Montreal – his first Masters 1000 final. He also captured his third consecutive San Jose trophy and defeated Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych en route to the Bangkok crown to give him five overall ATP titles. Currently ranked world No. 11, Raonic advanced into the third round at the Australian Open last week before falling to the up-and-coming Grigor Dimitrov.
In a historic 2013 Davis Cup season, Canada won its first-ever World Group tie by defeating Spain in the first round before following it up with a win over Italy to reach the semifinals, where they fell to Serbia 3-2. With a triumph over Japan, Canada would advance into its second consecutive quarter-final and maintain its World Group position for a fourth straight year in 2015. Japan is competing in the World Group this year after defeating Colombia in last September’s World Group play-offs to advance out of Asia/Oceania Zone Group 1. Japan last played in the World Group in 2012, which was its first appearance in the elite 16-team category since 1985.
Canada is currently ranked No. 7 on the ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking while Japan sits at No. 12. Japan owns a 5-0 record against Canada in Davis Cup action, but the two countries have not played each other since 1938.
The winner of this tie will move on to the quarter-finals in April versus the victor of the first-round tie between Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport with 122 nations competing in 2014. Only 16 countries entered in Davis Cup competition qualify for the World Group each year.
The matches will be broadcast by Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Please check local listings for the full schedule.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas match schedule for Canada vs. Japan
(local Tokyo time)
- Friday, January 31, 2014 – 1 p.m. Singles
- Saturday, February 1, 2014 – 1 p.m. Doubles
- Sunday, February 2, 2014 – 1 p.m. Reverse Singles
About Davis Cup by BNP Paribas
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with 122 nations taking part in 2014. The competition is 114 years old having been founded in 1900.The title sponsor is BNP Paribas, the Official Bank of Davis Cup. International sponsors are Rolex (Official Timekeeper) Adecco (Official HR Sponsor) and NH Hotels (Official Hotel), while Wilson Sporting Goods (Official Ball) is an international partner. Follow all the action on www.daviscup.com, www.copadavis.com, www.twitter.com/daviscup, www.facebook.com/DavisCupTennis and www.daviscup.tv.