Potential Canada-Spain Davis Cup matchups

September 20, 2012, 6:48 PM

Talk about a mismatch.

During Wednesday’s 2013 Davis Cup World Group draw, the up-and-coming (and seemingly unlucky) Canadians drew Spain as their first-round opponent.

Spain. Seriously?

Spain is a Davis Cup powerhouse. When they’re all healthy, Spain’s squad includes David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Feliciano Lopez and oh ya, some guy named Rafael Nadal. I hear he’s pretty good.

It’s no surprise that Spain is through to the 2012 Cup final where they’ll face Tomas Berdych and the Czech Republic in November.

But here’s the good news: Spain is coming to Canada next year. This may be the most-anticipated Canadian tennis event in history. The only issue is that the February Davis Cup tie is days after the Australian Open. Depending on how deep some of the Spaniards go in Melbourne, they may not show up in Canada.

Spaniards are generally known on tour as being clay court specialists. You can bet that Tennis Canada is going to try and find the fastest hard court that they can to play the tie as that will better suit the Canadians, specifically Milos Raonic and his gigantic, ridiculous, scary-fast serve. I think you get the point.

Spain’s team is so talented though, that the court surface probably won’t make much of a difference to their squad.

So where will Canada find this super-fast hard court? I’m assuming the tie will be held in Vancouver cause that’s closest to Australia.

As mentioned, we have no idea which Spanish players will come play the tie. But just for some hypothetical fun, let’s look at what could be some interesting matchups.

Milos Raonic vs. Rafael Nadal

Wouldn’t this be fun? The answer is, yes … yes, it would be!

Due to a lingering knee injury, Nadal hasn’t played competitively since his second-round upset at Wimbledon. If he comes to Canada next February, he’ll most likely face Canada’s No. 1 seed Raonic.

The two have met twice before, both times in Tokyo in 2010 and 2011. In both matches, Nadal won in straight sets, but neither win was a blowout. These matchups were before Raonic reached two Masters quarterfinals and before he cracked the ATP Top 20.

Raonic’s game keeps improving and any match he has with Nadal should be tight. Nadal will have trouble with Raonic’s huge serve, but Raonic will have trouble keeping up with Nadal’s blistering ground strokes which will be sure to run the Canuck back and forth across the baseline.

Vasek Pospisil vs. David Ferrer

The last time Pospisil and Ferrer played was at the London Olympics. Pospisil had 26 unforced errors in the loss and struggled with his first serve.

Ferrer is one of the hardest fighters on tour. Like many top players, if his opponent gives him even a sliver of an opportunity, he capitalizes.

Pospisil is inexperienced and inconsistent compared to the Spaniard. If Pospisil and Ferrer matchup in February, you can expect some long rallies and a lot of counterpunching from Ferrer.

Pospisil/Daniel Nestor vs. Marcel Granollers/Marc Lopez

This would be a great doubles match.

In their 2012 Davis Cup semifinal against Mike and Bob Bryan, Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez lost in a close four-set match. Up against Pospisil and Daniel Nestor, this doubles match could be just as exciting. Nestor is arguably the greatest doubles player ever, so if Pospisil is consistent, he and Nestor will be the favourites.

We’ll find out in February just how these two squads match up.


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