Photo: Peter Power
Today, Tennis Canada unveiled its plans for a countrywide tour of the historic Davis Cup trophy. Team Canada presented by Sobeys made history when they soared to victory in the 2022 Davis Cup by defeating Australia in the final in Malaga, Spain. It was the first time in the competition’s 123-year history that Canada had lifted the famous trophy, which will now travel across Canada, stopping in all 10 provinces, as part of the official Davis Cup Champions Tour presented by Sobeys.
As well as being displayed at tennis clubs, sponsor sites, municipal offices and public spaces, three highlights of the trophy’s journey will include activations at the Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Qualifiers in Vancouver (April 14-15), the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Toronto (August 5-13), where there will be a celebration with team members during the opening night ceremony, and the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montreal (August 4-13).
The plans were announced at a luncheon at Sobeys Stadium to officially launch the Trophy Tour with Frank Dancevic, Team Canada captain, Canadian tennis legend Daniel Nestor, Jennifer Bishop, past Chair of Tennis Canada, and Hatem McDadi, Senior Vice President, High Performance Development, taking part in a panel discussion hosted by Sportsnet’s Arash Madani.
“To be able to take the iconic Davis Cup trophy coast to coast is a great privilege and no small feat,” said CEO Michael Downey. “We want tennis fans across Canada to get a glimpse of this larger-than-life trophy and share in the famous Team Canada victory. Other winning nations have staged tours of their own, but the upcoming Canadian tour will set a world record for miles logged and, along the way, thousands of Canadians of all ages will be inspired to pick up a racquet.”
Tennis Canada’s intention is that the Trophy Tour will evoke national pride by allowing local regions to share in this historic result, educate fans on the importance of the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup, support communities in advocating for more indoor courts and ultimately grow the sport of tennis by attracting new talent.
The trophy, which was donated by the competition’s founder Dwight Davis, has been awarded to the Davis Cup champions since its inception in 1900 when only two nations – the United States and Great Britain – were part of the event. Fans will be able to pose for photos with the trophy and are encouraged to share on social media with the hashtags #DCChamps22 and #CoupeDavisChamps22.
Today, with 138 countries registered to play, the Davis Cup has grown to become the world’s largest annual international team competition in sport. In addition to winning the 2022 Davis Cup title, Canada has automatically qualified for the 2023 Finals.
Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montréal, QC), Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON), Vasek Pospisil (Vernon, BC), Alexis Galarneau (Laval, QC), Gabriel Diallo (Montréal, QC), and team captain Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON) helped Canada to become only the 16th nation to raise the famous trophy, ousting both Germany and Italy in tight 2-1 ties before sweeping Australia in the finals.
Dancevic added: “When we lifted the trophy in November, there was an overwhelming sense of pride, not just for the team but for everyone involved in our success back home. To now be able to share everything we accomplished with the rest of Canada by displaying the trophy across the country makes that moment even more special.”
Full details of all the stops on the tour are available here.
Canada, as the highest-ranked team, was picked to be the top-seed of Group A for the 2023 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals Group Stage along with Italy, Sweden and Chile. The four countries will now play each other in a round-robin tournament that will be held at the Unipol Arena in Bologna from September 12 to 17.
The top two teams from each of the four groups (based on wins, then percentage of sets and games won/lost) will qualify for the Final 8 knockout stage (quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals), to be held on November 21-26, 2023, at the Palacio de Deportes José María Martín Carpena in Malaga, Spain.