February 6, 2013 by Parveer Mann
No other Spanish player ranked in the top 30? Check
You would think with all these factors going in Canada’s favour that there Davis Cup tie with Spain this past weekend would be a simple formality. In many ways it was with Canada taking the tie 3-2 but the result alone does not represent what this win means to Tennis Canada.
Canada and the Davis Cup
Since the Davis Cup went to the World Group format, Canada’s previous highlight was taking a 2-0 lead against Sweden and ultimately losing 3-2 in 1992. The tie famously featured current doubles player, Daniel Nestor defeating Grand Slam champion Stefan Edberg. Before this weekend’s victory, Canada was 0-4 at this stage and really an after-thought on the international stage.
The push toward achieving tennis excellence in Canada has been slow and full of obstacles. However, the last five to seven years have seen some real traction. Tennis Canada has developed a strong partnership with sponsors National Bank and Rogers who help run their ATP/WTA tournaments in Montreal and Toronto. They have had great success in emulating the youth development centers seen in Europe and the facility in Montreal was the training ground for potential stars Milos Raonic, Filip Peliwo and Eugenie Bouchard.
The circumstances and odds may have been heavily in Canada’s favour in their breakthrough against the top-ranked Spanish squad. You still have to credit the team for getting the win and accomplishing the goal. Now Canada has another favourable draw in the quarter-finals against Italy, a squad that is ranked lower and will have to travel to Canada in April. It is quite possible that we have not seen how far the Maple Leaf can rise on the tennis stage yet.
Highlight of the Davis Cup weekend:
The doubles rubber between Switzerland and Czech Republic was one of those marvel marathon matches. The Czechs prevailed 24-22 in the fifth set after nearly seven hours!