Raonic to replace Shapovalov on Canada roster for Davis Cup tie against South Korea

Canada's Milos Raonic. (Chris Young/CP)

The Canadian men’s tennis team is making a significant roster change just over a week before a Davis Cup qualifier tie against South Korea.

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., will replace Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., in the lineup for the best-of-five competition at IGA Stadium, Tennis Canada said Wednesday.

The former world No. 3 joins a roster that includes Montreal’s Gabriel Diallo, Alexis Galarneau of Laval, Que., and Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, B.C. Liam Draxl of Newmarket, Ont., has been added as a fifth player.

Shapovalov missed the second half of last season due to a knee injury and has struggled so far in 2024.

“Representing Canada has and always will be a priority of mine, and I have so many great Davis Cup memories in my career already,” Shapovalov said in a release. “However, having missed a substantial amount of time last season with an injury, I am now at the beginning of my comeback and need to focus on finding my rhythm again and making sure that I can get back to my best level as fast as possible. 

“Best of luck to the team. I know the guys have what it takes to get us through to the group stage.” 

Raonic returned to the ATP Tour last year after an extended injury absence. He played in five events last season and earned a three-set win in Toronto over American Frances Tiafoe, ranked 10th in the world at the time.

Raonic, who has a 19-6 career record in Davis Cup play, won his singles match against Patrick Kaukovalta in the Davis Cup Finals last November. Finland came back to win the quarterfinal against the defending champions.

“Firstly, we’d like to wish Denis all the best in his comeback,” said Canadian captain Frank Dancevic. “He will be missed and is always welcomed to the team for any future ties. Fortunately, adding Milos and Liam to the team gives us tremendous depth heading into our tie against the Republic of Korea. 

“I’ve got full confidence in this group and look forward to playing in front of a home crowd in Montreal.”

Draxl, meanwhile, will be making his Davis Cup debut. The 22-year-old won the biggest title of his career last November at the Calgary National Bank Challenger. 

The first two singles rubbers are scheduled for Feb. 2. The doubles rubber and two other singles rubbers are set for Feb. 3. 

The winner of the qualifier tie will advance to the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.