Canadian Davis Cup team will play Japan at home

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(ISN) – Toronto, September 18, 2014 – The International Tennis Federation determined Thursday that the Canadian Davis Cup team will play Japan at home in the first round of the 2015 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group. The official draw for the 2015 World Group was conducted Thursday evening from the ITF Annual General Meeting in Dubai. The first round ties will take place from March 6-8, 2015.

The tie will be a re-match of their first-round clash from earlier this year when Japan defeated a depleted Canadian squad 4-1 to reach the Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals for the first time in its history. Canada was missing its top two singles players in Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil due to injury. Because the two countries competed in Japan the last time they played, their 2015 first round tie will take place in Canada. The host city and venue will be determined at a later date. Japan holds a 6-0 record over Canada, with their previous meeting prior to 2014 coming back in 1938. Canada is the seeded team in this tie with a ranking of No. 9, while Japan is ranked No. 12.

“We definitely feel we are a World Group nation and we look forward to starting fresh next year and trying to advance past the first round and create another historic run for our country,” said team captain Martin Laurendeau. “We’re excited to be able to play at home again behind a supportive crowd like what we’ve experienced in Halifax and Vancouver over the past couple of years. While we know from recent experience that Japan is a talented team, we will be ready for the challenge and we know we have the capabilities to take on any team in the world. There is a lot of tennis to be played before the team gathers for this tie, but we will be prepared and ready to compete.”

Canada will be competing in the World Group amongst the best nations on the globe for a fourth straight year after defeating Colombia 3-2 in the World Group Play-offs in Halifax last weekend. A Davis Cup semifinalist in 2013, Canada was forced to participate in a play-off this year to keep its World Group position following its first-round loss to Japan back in February.

Japan will be playing in the World Group for a second straight season. Its victory over Canada earlier in the year marked the first time Japan advanced out of the World Group first round. Missing an injured Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals, Japan then fell 5-0 to Czech Republic.

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport. A total of 122 nations participated in 2014 and only 16 countries qualify for the elite World Group each year and play for the prestigious Davis Cup trophy.

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