The official draw for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round tie between Canada and France took place Thursday in Guadeloupe to determine the match-ups for the coming weekend. The draw was hosted at Mémorial ACTe, a cultural center dedicated to the Memory and History of Slavery Trade. The tie will be contested on an outdoor clay court at the Vélodrome Amédée Detraux in Guadeloupe, France from March 4-6.
On Wednesday, Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau officially nominated Philip Bester (Vancouver) and Adil Shamasdin (Toronto) as the substitute players for Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ontario) and Daniel Nestor (Toronto) who were both unable to compete in the tie.
The Canadian Davis Cup team, now consisting of Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ontario), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), Bester and Shamasdin will battle with France in two singles matches on Friday, a doubles match on Saturday and two reverse singles matches on Sunday. Canadian Davis Cup team captain Laurendeau will be at the helm this weekend.
World No. 44 Pospisil and No. 245 Dancevic were selected by Laurendeau to play singles, while French captain Yannick Noah nominated world No. 17 Gael Monfils and No. 19 Gilles Simon. The doubles teams will be Pospisil and Bester for Canada, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet for France.
Today’s draw produced the following weekend match-ups:
|Event||Representing Canada||Representing France|
|1st Singles Rubber –
Friday, March 4, 11:00 a.m. AST
|Frank Dancevic||Gael Monfils|
|2nd Singles Rubber –
Friday, March 4
|Vasek Pospisil||Gilles Simon|
|Doubles Rubber –
Saturday, March 5, 2:00 p.m. AST
|Philip Bester/Vasek Pospisil||Richard Gasquet/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga|
|3rd Singles Rubber –
Sunday, March 6, 11:00 a.m. AST
|Vasek Pospisil||Gael Monfils|
|4th Singles Rubber –
Sunday, March 6
|Frank Dancevic||Gilles Simon|
“With the depth of the French team, the results of today’s draw were always going to present us with a tough task regardless of which players were selected to play or the order of the matches,” said Laurendeau. “But our team has been in very good spirits all week, they are united and they are ready to take on this challenge. These four guys are here because they love competing in Davis Cup and they are proud to represent Canada. That is what they are going to go out onto the court and do this weekend and I know they will leave it all out there and give us every chance to win.”
France holds a 2-0 record against Canada in Davis Cup play. The first time the teams met was in 1966 when France won 5-0. In the 2012 World Group first round, France again defeated Canada 4-1 in Vancouver. For this tie, France is the seeded team with an ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of No. 5 while Canada is ranked No. 10.
Canada will be competing in the elite 16-team World Group for a fifth straight year. France is a perennial Davis Cup contender, having made the Davis Cup final in 2014 and 2010. The nation is a nine-time champion, most recently in 2001.
The winner of this tie will move on to the quarter-finals to face either Germany or the Czech Republic in July. The losing nation will be forced to play a World Group playoff in September to keep their spot in the upper echelon of the competition.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport. A total of 135 nations are participating in 2016 and only the top 16 countries each year qualify for the World Group and play for the prestigious Davis Cup trophy.
The matches will be broadcast by Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Please check local listings for the full schedule.
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas match schedule for Canada vs. France
Friday, March 4, 2016 – 11 a.m. Singles
Saturday, March 5, 2016 – 2 p.m. Doubles
Sunday, March 6, 2016 – 11 a.m. Reverse Singles