Martin Laurendeau steps down
Tennis Canada announced on Thursday that Frank Dancevic has been named captain of the Canadian Davis Cup team, replacing Martin Laurendeau who has stepped down in order to dedicate his time to coaching Denis Shapovalov.
Dancevic made his Davis Cup debut as a player in 2002. Since then, he has posted a record of 18 wins and 22 loses in 26 appearances with the team. A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and current resident of La Prairie, Quebec, Dancevic played one of the best matches of his career against Spain’s Marcel Granollers, then ranked 34th in the world, defeating him by a score of 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the World Group first round encounter in 2013. It was that year that Canada reached the semi-finals, the best result in the nation’s Davis Cup history.
Dancevic, who will continue his career as a player — he is currently ranked world no. 361 in the ATP rankings, after having reached a career-high ranking of no. 65 in 2007 —, said he was honored by this opportunity provided to him by Tennis Canada.
“These are definitely big shoes to fill, as Martin has been an outstanding captain for our team. No one will be able to replace him,” stated Dancevic. “It is an honor for me to take on this role as the Davis Cup has always been a special and important event for me. I know all the players well, which will be an asset for me moving forward. It is certainly a great challenge, but I have tremendous confidence in this team and I am looking forward to our next tie in February.”
“Frank has played a significant role in the success of the team for almost two decades. He has seen this team evolve over time,” explained Louis Borfiga. “The players and Tennis Canada have full confidence in his ability to not only keep this team in the World Group, but to aim even higher in the coming years.”
Laurendeau has been the team captain since 2004, in addition to occupying the role of team coach for 10 years and defending the Canadian flag as a player from 1986 to 1993. Under his leadership, Canada has been present in the World Group since 2012 and reached the Davis Cup semi-finals in 2013.
“After 15 years as captain, I have decided to step away from Davis Cup. It has been the highest honor to represent my country in all of the different roles that I have held over the last 34 years,” stated Laurendeau. “Davis Cup is very intense and energy consuming. Combining the captaincy and full-time coaching on the ATP Tour made for a relentlessly busy calendar. Thus, I have decided to step down and provide someone else with the opportunity to lead our Canadian team. Frank is one of Canada’s most experienced Davis Cup players, which will certainly serve him well in his new role. I am delighted to hand the torch to a former pupil, especially to one with whom I have shared many memories on the court. I wish all the best to Frank and the team. I will continue to follow Davis Cup very closely!”
“Martin’s professionalism, leadership and integrity have helped this team succeed in recent years. He evolved with the team and was able to adjust according to the challenges that presented themselves,” said Borfiga. “He will be missed, but his contribution to Canadian tennis has not ended.”
Canada’s Davis Cup team will face Croatia in the World Group first round from February 2 to 4, 2018.