Previous year, Canada made the tennis history in Davis Cup. The Canadian Davis Cup team advanced all the way to the ’13 world semifinals last fall before succumbing to Novak Djokovic and Serbia. That charge was built on strong singles play from Milos Raonic, yet another helpful year from ageless Daniel Nestor and a series of fortuitous breaks against other tennis countries.
In a world playoff against South Africa that was supposed to take place in Africa, Canada ended up hosting the event and South Africa’s best player, Kevin Anderson, didn’t play.
Then came a world group match against Spain. None of the top Spanish players attended and Canada pulled off the upset in Vancouver. Against Italy in the quarters, the Italians couldn’t bring their best doubles team.
Only against Serbia, when Canada had a 2-1 lead going into the final day of competition in Belgrade before dropping the final two unfortunate singles rubbers as Janko Tipsarevic had beaten Vasek Pospisil in the fifth rubber.
However, the results in 2014 may be extremely different as it seems no luck at all will accompany Canada in 2014. Tennis Canada’s squad against Japan won’t include Raonic due to a troubling ankle problem. Vasek Pospisil was injured at the Australian Open and won’t play singles. He might not even be able to play doubles. The Canadian team now got Nestor, Frank Dancevic and Peter Polansky to try to get past Japan.
Coventionally, Japan is not considered to be a strong Davis Cup team. But they do include a top 20 player in Kei Nishikori and some capable veterans, including Go Soeda.
In order to get past Japan, Canada would have to achieve victory in the doubles on Saturday and hope that both Dancevic (119th in the world) and Polansky (135th) can defeat Soeda (140th) in singles.
Dancevic and Soeda are both 29 and tour veterans, but have never played. Soeda has never played the 25-year-old Polansky, either.
If Canada wins, it would advance to the Davis Cup quarterfinals this spring. While a loss would push them into a world group playoff next fall, with the risk of falling out of the elite top grouping for the first time in three years.
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