Canada forms strong Davis Cup squad for home tie

Vasek Pospisil, left, and Milos Raonic, menbers of the Canadian national tennis team. (Marko Drobnjakovic/AP)

TORONTO — Canada’s top four tennis players and a retiring doubles standout have been selected to represent the country in a Davis Cup tie against the Netherlands next month.

Team captain Frank Dancevic picked Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniel Nestor, who is retiring this fall, to the squad for the Sept. 14-16 indoor tie at Coca-Cola Coliseum.

"This is an important tie for us as we are hoping to maintain our place in the World Group for next year," Dancevic said in a statement. "We believe that we belong among the elite nations and that we can aspire to win the Davis Cup trophy in the near future. To get there, we need to continue to work as a team and to build on our foundation that is already quite strong.

"The Netherlands will be tough opponents, but we are excited to get out on the court and give our all to get the victory. We will have the advantage of playing at home and we are looking forward to competing in front of the fans in Toronto."

Raonic, the world No. 24, and No. 28 Shapovalov are the top-ranked singles players in the tie.

The Netherlands’ top player is No. 49 Robin Haase. The visitors also are bringing Thiemo de Bakker, Scott Griekspoor, Jean-Julien Rojer and Matwe Middelkoop.

Raonic, 16-6 in Davis Cup play, is scheduled to play his first tie since 2015. He lost in the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Sunday against American John Isner.

Shapovalov, 19, is playing his fifth tie. He reached the third round of the U.S. Open, losing in five sets to Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson.

Auger-Aliassime, 18, is making his Davis Cup debut. He reached his first main draw of a Grand Slam at the U.S. Open.

Pospisil and Nestor, who turned 46 on Tuesday, are the veterans of the squad. It will mark Nestor’s 53rd tie since making his debut in 1992.

The winner of the tie will secure a spot in the World Group for 2019, while the loser will be relegated to Zonal Group I.

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