Toronto – Canada will be without top player Milos Raonic when it takes on Chile in a Davis Cup playoff later this month in Halifax.
Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil, doubles veteran Daniel Nestor of Toronto, teen phenom Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ontario, and Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ontario, will represent Canada in the best-of-five tie, which runs September 16 through 18 at the Scotiabank Centre.
Tennis Canada says Raonic is skipping the series due to “lingering effects of the cramping he experienced during his second-round match at the U.S. Open last week.”
Raonic, a Wimbledon finalist earlier this year, lost to unseeded American Ryan Harrison, saying after the match that the cramping he was experiencing was so debilitating he couldn’t grip his racket properly.
The player from Thornhill, Ontario, who has always considered Davis Cup a priority, said he was dropping out with “great disappointment.”
“Following the extreme cramping I experienced during my U.S. Open match last week, I must undergo further testing and recovery, and I cannot compete at this time,” he said in a statement.
Canada is 12th in the Davis Cup rankings while Chile sits at No. 23. 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.
Canada must win 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.
Christian Garin, Nicolas Jarry, Gonzalo Lama and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo will represent Chile.
“Chile has some talented young players and has been on a pretty successful run in Davis Cup play over the last two years,” said Canada’s captain Martin Laurendeau. “We have a very experienced team that will not make the mistake of underestimating our opponents. We are preparing for a tough match-up but we also know that if we play to our abilities we are an extremely strong team that belongs in the World Group.”
The Canadian Press