Toronto, March 4, 2013 – Tennis Canada announced on Monday that Josef Brabenec Sr., a former Canadian Davis Cup and Fed Cup captain, has been named Honorary Chair of Canada’s upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarter-final tie versus Italy. The Vancouver resident takes over from Grant Connell, who played the ceremonial role in Canada’s first-round ties against France in 2012 and Spain in 2013.

“First, we would like to thank Grant for being the honorary chair for our last two World Group ties,” said Michael S. Downey, president and CEO, Tennis Canada. “Grant is a Davis Cup icon and a recent ITF Commitment Award recipient for his tremendous years of Davis Cup involvement as a player and captain for Canada. We are also so pleased to welcome Josef to the team. As Canada’s first and only certified Level 5 high performance coach it is appropriate that he assumes the honorary chair position for Canada’s first ever quarter-final berth.”

As honorary chair, Brabenec Sr. will be the local representative for the tie. He will be present at each official function as well as all three days of play.

“It was a great honour to be a part of Canadian tennis history in February with the team’s win over Spain,” said Connell, who participated in 21 Davis Cup ties as a player and seven Davis Cup ties as a captain. “I am happy to be passing the role of honorary chair onto Josef, who has been so important to Canadian tennis through the years. Good luck to him and team Canada – I will definitely be cheering them on.” 

Originally from the former Czechoslovakia, Brabenec Sr. worked out of the Jericho Tennis Club in Vancouver prior to being appointed the first Canadian national coach in 1975. In his role as national coach, he designed both the National Coaching Certification Program and National Junior Development Program for Tennis Canada. He also helmed Canada’s Davis Cup team from 1978-1984 and its Fed Cup team from 1978-1982. Brabenec Sr. was inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000.

“It feels great to be a part of the Canadian Davis Cup team again as honorary chair,” Brabenec Sr. said. “It has been so wonderful to see the recent success of team Canada, and especially to see much of it happening right here in Vancouver. I thank Tennis Canada for bringing me into the fold for the quarter-finals against Italy, and I believe Canada has a fair chance to advance to the semifinals.”

Canada will play in its first-ever Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarter-final tie when it takes on Italy from April 5-7 at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, March 6 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased by visiting For more information regarding the tie, visit

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