On Monday, Tennis Canada announced that Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON) would not be representing Canada at the Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten in Madrid on account of a back injury. In his place, Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) will team up with Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON), Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montréal, QC) and Vasek Pospisil (Vernon, BC). Held at Caja Magica stadium, the Davis Cup Finals will run from November 18 to 24.
“It is very hard and disappointing for me that I will not be able to represent my country at Davis Cup. My health has continued to let me down through this entire year and now once again. I will take the appropriate time to get healthy and I look forward to being back on court next season” said Raonic. “I believe in my teammates, and I know they’ll give everything to secure Canada’s first Davis Cup title. I’ll be following them very closely and I wish them the best.”
Currently ranked World No.94, Brayden Schnur has climbed 100 places in the rankings since the start of the season. The 24-year-old took the tennis world by surprise when he appeared in the final of the New York Open ATP 250 event last February. In his most recent final appearance, he fell to Vasek Pospisil at the Charlottesville Tennis Challenger in Virginia. Schnur will be competing in Davis Cup for the second time in his career. In 2017, he joined the national squad in its World Group play-off tie against India. Despite his two singles losses, Canada managed to secure a 3-2 win.
“I’m very happy to be able to play in the Davis Cup Finals but, of course, I first want to wish Milos a speedy recovery,” affirmed Schnur. “It’s an honour for me to represent Canada in this team competition. We know every win will be hard-won but I’m ready to support my teammates and go all the way.”
The 18 countries that qualified for the Finals are divided into six groups of three nations. Canada is in Group F along with the United States and Italy and will face both in a round robin. It will cross paths with Italy on November 18 and the United States on the following day. The Davis Cup Finals will be played on an indoor hard court surface.
The winners of the six groups and two runners-up based on the number of wins and percentage of sets and games won/lost will qualify for the quarterfinals, which get underway on Thursday, November 21. If Canada finishes first in its group, the team will face the winner of Group D. The semifinals will be played on Saturday and the final on Sunday, November 24. Each matchup will consist of two singles matches and a doubles match in a best-of-three format.
The Canadian Davis Cup team qualified for the Finals when it overpowered Slovakia by a score of 3-2 on February 1 and 2, 2019. Shapovalov won both of his singles battles and Auger-Aliassime notched an important win in the decisive match.
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