Tennis Canada announced Tuesday that Denis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil, Daniel Nestor, and Brayden Schnur have been selected by team captain Martin Laurendeau to play against India in Canada’s upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie, set to take place September 15-17 at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton.
“This is a critical tie for us as we look to stay in the World Group again next year,” said Laurendeau. “We believe we are a World Group nation and can win the Davis Cup title in the near future, and a victory next weekend in Edmonton is the first step. While we know India will pose a challenge, we are looking forward to coming together as a team and doing everything we can to win. We love playing at home, and can’t wait to play in front of an amazing crowd in Edmonton and really use home court to our advantage.”
The All India Tennis Association and Indian captain Mahesh Bhupathi have named world No. 155 Ramkumar Ramanathan, No. 158 Yuki Bhambri, No. 490 Saketh Myneni, and doubles world No. 17 Rohan Bopanna to its team.
This will be Shapovalov’s third Davis Cup tie for Canada. The 18-year-old is coming off a fourth-round appearance at the US Open in just his second-ever Grand Slam, which is set to push his ranking from a current world No. 69 to a new career-high of approximately No. 51 next week. Last month, Shapovalov also became the youngest player to make an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal when he defeated four players, including Grand Slam champions Juan Martin Del Potro and Rafael Nadal, at Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Pospisil has been Canada’s leader in its most recent ties, going 2-0 in his singles matches versus Great Britain earlier this year and leading the team to victory in its World Group play-off against Chile this time last year. The 27-year-old is 16-14 in Davis Cup action, and has been an integral part of the squad since 2011. Currently ranked world No. 78, this season Pospisil has captured his fifth ATP Challenger title in Busan, South Korea, reached the quarter-finals of the ATP World Tour event in s-Hertogenbosch, and earned his first victory over a world No. 1 versus Andy Murray at Indian Wells.
The longest-standing Davis Cup team member in Canada’s history, this will be Nestor’s 51st tie dating back to his 1992 debut. He owns several Canadian Davis Cup records, including most years played (24), most ties played (50), and most total wins (47). Nestor, who celebrated his 45th birthday on Monday, is currently ranked world No. 42. He made his 151st career ATP World Tour final at Montpelier earlier this year, and has reached two other semifinals in 2017.
Schnur will be suiting up for Canada for the first time, having previously acted as a hitting partner at Canada’s 2014 World Group play-off tie in Halifax. A former standout NCAA player with the University of North Carolina, where he was a three-time All American, Schnur is currently sitting at his career-high ranking of world No. 192. The 22-year-old is playing his first full season as a pro, and has clinched two ITF Pro Circuit titles in addition to making the semifinals at the ATP Challenger in Granby in July.
Canada will be facing off against India for the first time in Davis Cup history, in what will be the first tie held in Edmonton since 1996. With a Davis Cup ranking of No. 16, Canada is the seeded nation in this tie while India is ranked No. 18. The winner of this tie will compete in the elite World Group for 2018 while the loser will play in Group I of the regional zones, one step below the top tier.
The Canadian squad has been a World Group stalwart since 2012, and in this stretch has reached the semifinals (2013) and quarter-finals (2015). Canada is participating in this play-off tie due a World Group first-round loss in February, posting a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Great Britain in Ottawa.
India defeated Uzbekistan 4-1 in the Asia/Oceania Group I second round in April to earn the right to compete in this World Group play-off. This will be the fourth year in a row the Indian team fights for the right to make World Group, though the nation has only participated in the top level of play twice since 2000 – in 2010 and 2011.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with 134 nations participating in 2017. The prestigious Davis Cup trophy has been handed out since 1900. Only the Top 16 nations qualify for the World Group each year, and thus the right to compete for the Davis Cup title.
Tickets are still available to see Canada take on India at Northlands Coliseum, and start at just $25 for a single day of tennis or $85 for all three days. Tickets are available for purchase at Ticketmaster.
Friday September 15, starting at 2:45 p.m. MT
Two singles matches
Canada’s No. 1 player vs. India’s No. 2 player
Canada’s No. 2 player vs. India’s No. 1 player
Tickets start at $40
Saturday September 16, starting at 1 p.m. MT
One doubles match
Canada vs. India
Tickets start at $25
Sunday September 17, starting at 1 p.m. MT
Two singles matches
Canada’s No. 1 player vs. India’s No. 1 player
Canada’s No. 2 player vs. India’s No. 2 player
Tickets start at $40
*The official draw on September 14 will determine the exact match-ups for the weekend. All matches will be best-of-five sets. If the tie has already been decided by the final day of play, then Sunday’s matches will be best-of-three sets.
Matches will be broadcast on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.