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CANADA’S DAVIS CUP TEAM TO RETURN TO VANCOUVER TO FACE ITALY IN QUARTER-FINALS

Historic tie will be played at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre; Tickets go on sale March 6

Toronto, February 19, 2013 – Tennis Canada announced Tuesday that the Miele Canadian Davis Cup team will return to the site of its historic victory against Spain for its upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarter-final tie versus Italy. The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver will once again host the world’s largest international team tennis competition from April 5-7, 2013 as Canada will look to improve on its already record-breaking season by advancing to the semifinals.

“What our team accomplished earlier this month in Vancouver was outstanding and we are so excited to have made history and be competing in the Davis Cup quarter-finals,” said Canada’s team captain Martin Laurendeau. “We cannot underestimate how much the crowd support and atmosphere in that stadium helped us claim victory and we want to ride that momentum. We’re thrilled to be going back there in April.”

Canada secured its spot in the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time in history by defeating world No. 1 Spain 3-2 in the first round just over two weeks ago. Canada’s top singles player Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ontario) won his two matches, including the clinching point, against Albert Ramos and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez respectively. Canada’s No. 2 singles player for the tie, Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ontario), notched the other necessary point with a shocking upset over world No. 34 Marcel Granollers. The win moved Canada up four spots on the Davis Cup rankings to No. 8 in the world – another team best.

The four Miele Canadian Davis Cup team members to face Italy will be selected by Laurendeau at a later date. In addition to Raonic and Dancevic, the team that beat Spain also included world No. 4 doubles player Daniel Nestor (Toronto) and Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver). The team also travelled with squad players Jesse Levine (Ottawa), who will now be eligible for selection, Filip Peliwo (Vancouver) and Adil Shamasdin (Toronto).

“While we did consider other options for this tie, the recent success made the choice an easy one for us and the team,” said Michael S. Downey, president and CEO, Tennis Canada. “We need to do what’s best for our team and its chances to win and based on the overwhelming support, response and solid research statistics we had from the tie against Spain, Vancouver was the obvious choice for a return visit against Italy. There will be many future opportunities to bring Davis Cup to different markets across Canada and expose the sport to the largest possible number of people.”

A survey conducted by Charlton Strategic Research on approximately 500 ticket buyers from February’s tie produced outstandingly positive results, including 95% of the respondents rating their overall experience at Davis Cup as either “excellent” or “very good”. Furthermore, 97% of respondents said the event either “exceeded” or “met” expectations while 70% said they would be “very likely” to attend another Davis Cup tie in Vancouver. The facility itself rated highly as well with 67% of people saying they preferred Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre to other Vancouver venues. A majority of 58% of people surveyed were first-time Davis Cup ticket buyers, illustrating the large tennis fan base that exists in Vancouver and British Columbia.

The tie against Spain set a Canadian Davis Cup attendance record with an astounding 17,805 spectators taking in the action over the course of the weekend. The same seating capacity of approximately 6,200 will be used for the tie against Italy and there will be no change in ticket prices from the February tie.

“UBC is thrilled to be a host of world-class tennis again in April,” said Kavie Toor, Associate Director of Facilities and Business Development for University of British Columbia Athletics and Recreation. “We are confident we will have great crowds, a great atmosphere and the right environment to cheer on Team Canada in its first-ever quarter-final tie versus Italy. This event will be another chapter in the growing history of Canadian tennis in Vancouver.” 

Italy started the year at No. 13 on the Davis Cup rankings, but has since moved up to No. 9 after a nail-biting first round win over a higher-seeded Croatian team. World No. 42 Fabio Fognini secured his country’s spot in the quarter-finals after a four-set victory in the fifth and deciding rubber against Ivan Dodig. This is Italy’s first quarter-final appearance since a run to the Davis Cup final in 1998, and it has been crowned Davis Cup champion once before in 1976. April’s tie will mark the first meeting between Canada and Italy in Davis Cup action.

The winner of this tie will move on to the semifinals in September versus the winner of a tie between Serbia and the United States. The loser will be eliminated from 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas competition, but both nations have already qualified for World Group action in 2014 because of their first-round victories.

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport with 130 nations competing in 2013. Only 16 countries entered in Davis Cup competition qualify for the World Group each year.

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, March 6, 2013 and will be available through Ticketmaster. For more information regarding ticket sales, visit www.tenniscanada.com/daviscup.

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