CANADA TO PLAY CHILE AT HOME IN HALIFAX IN DAVIS CUP
Toronto – The draw for the 2016 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs was held on Tuesday at the International Tennis Federation headquarters in London. The Canadian Davis Cup team will play a home tie versus Chile from September 16-18 to retain its spot in the World Group for 2017. Tennis Canada also announced that the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia has been selected as the host site for the tie which will be played on an indoor hard court.
“We are very happy to be awarded a home tie after two very tough back-to-back road ties in the last year,” said Canadian Davis Cup team captain Martin Laurendeau. “We are also very excited to be heading back to Halifax as the World Group play-off there in 2014 was a huge success for us. The city, the venue and the crowd provided us with the ideal conditions to win and keep our spot in the World Group, and we will need that same support this time around against Chile as they will pose another big challenge for us.”
This will be the second time since 2014 that Halifax will host a Davis Cup tie as Canada played Colombia there in September of that year and scored a 3-2 victory in the World Group play-offs.
“Tennis Canada is thrilled to be bringing this elite level of professional tennis back to Halifax,” said Gavin Ziv, vice-president of professional and national events for Tennis Canada and Davis Cup tournament director. “The eastern region of Canada remains a priority for us in terms of development, facilities and participation. We’ve seen the interest in tennis grow in Atlantic Canada over the past several years and bringing events like Davis Cup to the community helps foster that growth. One of the best ways to excite people about our sport is to put high-calibre tennis entertainment on display, and that is what we plan to do with this Davis Cup tie.”
Tennis Canada has received great funding support from the federal, municipal and provincial governments in the past to ensure the staging of this world-class event and are hopeful for similar support from them for this upcoming tie.
Canada is the seeded team with a Davis Cup world ranking of No. 12. Chile is ranked No. 23 in the world. This will be the ninth time the two countries have played each other in Davis Cup with the record standing at an even 4-4. In those eight previous match-ups, the home country has won each time. The last time they met was in 2008 where Chile defeated Canada 3-2 in a zone group semifinal in Santiago. As that tie was played in Chile, it is now Canada’s turn to host on its home soil.
Canada started the season in the World Group for the fifth consecutive year. The team played its first-round tie on the road against France in Guadeloupe. Canada was without top players Milos Raonic and Daniel Nestor for that tie, which led to a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the French who have now moved on to the semifinals of the competition after a victory over Czech Republic this past weekend.
Chile has reached the World Group play-offs for the first time in four years after defeating Dominican Republic and Colombia in the Americas Zone Group I first and second rounds, respectively. Chile is currently on a six-tie win streak, and claimed victory in all three of its 2015 match-ups to advance out of Americas Zone Group II for 2016. The last time the country qualified for the elite 16-team World Group was in 2011. Its recent success has come at the hands of players Gonzalo Lama (No. 161), Christian Garin (No. 251) and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (No. 278) who have all gone undefeated in singles and doubles in the last two years of Davis Cup action.
Canada must win in September to remain in the World Group for 2017. A loss would relegate the team back to Americas Zone Group I for next year where it has not played since 2011.