Davis Cup: India to face Canada in away tie for a spot in World Group

It was a minor relief for India, as it would be playing a relatively less powerful tennis nation, after having fought the giants like Serbia, Czech Republic and Spain over the last three years in the play-off stage.

India faces a tricky match against Canada in the Davis Cup World Group Play-off in September.   -  PTI

India drew eighth seed Canada in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie, to be played in Canada from September 15 to 17.

Since the two teams had not met before in Davis Cup, the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which made the draw in London on Tuesday, had to decide the host.

It was a minor relief for India, as it would be playing a relatively less powerful tennis nation, after having fought the giants like Serbia, Czech Republic and Spain over the last three years in the play-off stage.

Of course, Canada has World No.6, the big-serving Milos Raonic, who has a 16-6 win-loss record in Davis Cup, but has not been playing
Davis Cup after he lost to Kei Nishikori in five sets in 2015. His team had won the tie 3-2 then.

Argentina, Croatia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan and Russia were the other seeded teams in the play-off draw this time.

‘’We will fight hard,’’ said captain Mahesh Bhupathi, who had guided the team past Uzbekistan 4-1 in the recent Asia-Oceania second round
tie in Bengaluru.

The World Group Play-off draw:

  • Canada v India; Kazakhstan v Argentina; Colombia v Croatia; Switzerland v Belarus;

  • Netherlands v Czech Republic; Portugal v Germany; Japan v Brazil; Hungary v Russia

 

With about five months to go for the tie, Mahesh was unwilling to discuss about it any further.

Vasek Pospisil is the second best player in Canada. The 26-year-old, standing at 6’ 4’’ may be ranked 119 now, but he was No. 25 in the world in 2014. He has a current doubles rank of 29, and a best of No. 4 in 2015. He had won the men’s doubles title in Wimbledon in 2014 with Jack Sock of the U.S.

Along with the evergreen 44-year-old Daniel Nestor (22) and Adil Shamasdin (65), Canada has three doubles players in the top-100.

Peter Polansky (127), Denis Shapalov (172) and Steven Diez (179) are the other leading Canadian singles players ranked in the top-200.

Canada had lost to Britain in the first round of the World Group this season. It had played Serbia in the semifinals in 2013. It has been consistently in the World Group since 2012.

With five months to go for the tie, Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni who missed out on the recent ties in the Asia-Oceania zone owing to injuries, may be ready to bolster the Indian team.

Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Rohan Bopanna and Sriram Balaji had powered India past Uzbekistan, when one of the most successful players in Davis Cup history, Leander Paes, had to sit out.