Canada faces Colombia for Davis Cup World Group spot

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Team Canada will look to keep its spot in the Davis Cup World Group this week against challenger Colombia after a season of “milestones” in Canadian tennis./p>

Canada was knocked out of contention for the 2014 Davis Cup title in its first round tie against Japan in the winter, forcing the Canadians to a World Group Play-Off. The Canadian men had reached the Davis Cup semifinals the previous year.

To make another long run in 2015 as they had in 2013, the Canadians will need to regain form at Colombia’s expense in front of a supportive crowd. Canada must win the best-of-five series September 12-14 on the hard court in Halifax.

Here is the team that will be facing Colombia:

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic reached the all-time top ranking for Canadian singles player this season when he topped at no. 6.

In the 2013 Davis Cup run, Raonic lost only to world number one Novak Djokovic when Canada met Serbia in the semifinals. Prior to that Raonic had won five matches to help Canada reach the final four.

Vasek Pospisil

Vasek Pospisil at 2014 Rogers Cup.

Vasek Pospisil at 2014 Rogers Cup.

In the 2013 World Group quarterfinal Pospisil had a memorable five set doubles win with Daniel Nestor. After taking the first two sets from Italians Daniele Bracciali and Fabio Fognini, the Canadians were pinned back before prevailing 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 15-13.

Frank Dancevic

Frank Dancevic at 2014 Rogers Cup.

Frank Dancevic at 2014 Rogers Cup.

Dancevic had Canada’s only best-of-five win over Japan when the Asian nation ousted Canada 4-1 from World Group contention this year. In 2013, Dancevic pulled off the big upset over Marcel Granollers of Spain winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

Daniel Nestor

Daniel Nestor at 2014 Rogers Cup.

Daniel Nestor at 2014 Rogers Cup.

The 42-year old remains one of the best doubles players in the world, ranked third as of September 8. Nestor, in his 22nd year of Davis Cup tennis, has a doubles record of 31-8 and a total of 46 wins – all national records.

Milestones

Team captain Martin Laurendeau touched on the new heights men’s tennis has reached in Canada, amongst which Milos Raonic became its top-ranked player in history at number six and Vasek Pospisil won a Grand Slam doubles title at Wimbledon.

READ: Rise of Canadian tennis by the numbers

“A lot of milestones have happened in the careers of our players since the tie in Japan and I think we are all looking forward to coming back together for Davis Cup and fighting to prove that we can be a perennial contender by keeping our spot in the World Group,” Laurendeau was quoted in a Tennis Canada release.

Colombia

Santiago Giraldo against Canada at 2010 Davis Cup play-off.

Santiago Giraldo against Canada at 2010 Davis Cup play-off.

The Colombian team features primarily singles players Santiago Giraldo and Alejandro Falla, ranked 33rd and 73rd in the world respectively. The doubles duty for Colombia will likely be given to Juan Sebastian Cabal (23rd in doubles) and Robert Farah (26th).

Colombia came out of Americas Group I by beating tennis minnow Dominican Republic 4-1. It was at that stage the Colombians beat Canada in the countries’ previous Davis Cup meeting in 2010. Back then Raonic was a 19-year old and the matches were played outdoors on Colombian clay. Conditions will be much different in Halifax.

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