(ISN) – Toronto,– 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 Vancouver, British Columbia.
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 Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre from March 6-8. Filip Peliwo (Vancouver) and Adil Shamasdin (Toronto) will also be travelling to Vancouver with the team as part of an extended squad of players.
The Japan Tennis Association also announced the team that will head to Vancouver to take on the Canadian squad. They selected world No. 5 and 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, No. 83 Go Soeda, No. 91 Tatsuma Ito and No. 282 Yasutaka Uchiyama.
“All of our team members have been playing great tennis to open the season and we are looking forward to coming together for another Davis Cup tie and trying to make the quarter-finals once again,” said Laurendeau. “We definitely know from recent experience how dangerous an opponent Japan can be. But unlike last year we are at home, with a healthy team, and back in familiar confines where we have had a lot of recent success. So, we feel confident and will be ready to go out there and fight for a win.”
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 secured Canada’s sole point in its first-round loss to Japan last February with a victory over Soeda. Dancevic is currently ranked world No. 163 and his 2015 highlight so far is advancing through qualifying to play the ATP World Tour event in Zagreb.
This will be Nestor’s 23rd 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 (47). Currently ranked world No. 4, Nestor captured the Sydney crown in the second week of the season to make it 22 straight years in which he has won at least one ATP World Tour title. He is third on the all-time list for most doubles titles in the Open Era with 86. He also was a recent mixed doubles runner-up at the Australian Open.
Pospisil will be playing his 11th 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. This year, Pospisil matched his career-best Slam result by making the third round of the Australian Open and he also advanced into the second round of Sydney, Rotterdam, and Marseille. He is currently ranked world No. 63 in singles and No. 15 in doubles.
Raonic is currently on an eight-match win streak in Davis Cup while playing on home soil, including winning both of his singles matches in Canada’s World Group play-off against Colombia last September. The world No. 6, who will be competing in his 11th Davis Cup tie, has clinched fives ties for Canada throughout his career. So far this season, Raonic has posted a runner-up finish at Brisbane, a semifinal performance at Rotterdam, and reached his third career Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open.
Canada is competing in the World Group for the fourth consecutive year. The team’s best result is making the semifinals in 2013, when it posted wins over Spain in the first round and Italy in the quarter-finals, both taking place in Vancouver, before falling to Serbia in the semifinals in Belgrade. In the first round last year, Canada was missing its top two singles players in Raonic and Pospisil and fell 4-1 to Japan in Tokyo.
Japan is participating in the World Group for a second straight year. Its victory over Canada last February marked the first time Japan advanced out of the World Group first round. Missing an injured Nishikori in the quarter-finals, Japan then fell 5-0 to Czech Republic.
Canada is the seeded team with a Davis Cup world ranking of No. 9 while Japan is ranked No. 12. The winner of this tie will move on to the World Group quarter-finals and will also be assured to keep its spot in the World Group for the following year. The losing nation will be forced to play a World Group play-off tie to keep its spot in the elite level for 2016.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport with 126 nations competing in 2015. Only 16 countries entered in Davis Cup competition qualify for the World Group each year.
The matches will be broadcast live 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 PT time)
Friday, March 6, 2015 – 2 p.m. Singles
Saturday, March 7, 2015 – 1 p.m. Doubles
Sunday, March 8, 2015 – 1 p.m. Reverse Singles