Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Uses Same Lineup That Beat Spain for Davis Cup Tie against Italy

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Uses Same Lineup That Beat Spain for Davis Cup Tie against Italy

Article excerpt

Canada uses same lineup against Italy


MONTREAL - Canada has high hopes that the same players who upset Spain two months ago can do it again against Italy in the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

World No. 16 Milos Raonic will lead Canada into the April 5-7 best-of-five series at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver.

He will be joined by Davis Cup veterans Frank Dancevic and Vasek Pospisil and doubles ace Daniel Nestor, Tennis Canada announced Tuesday.

They will be up against an Italian squad similar in strength to the No. 1-ranked Spanish side they beat 3-2 in February. It was missing top singles stars Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer.

"The Italians have good depth as a country," Davis Cup captain Martin Laurendeau said on a conference call. "The Spanish team in Vancouver and the Italian team we find are similar enough that we can plan accordingly.

"The table's set for us to do it again. That will be our challenge."

Like Spain, the Italians are best on slower clay courts, but in Vancouver they will be faced with a lightning-fast, indoor hardcourt that is Raonic's favourite surface. The six-foot-five power server went 2-0 in singles against Spain.

"The last Davis Cup that (Italy) played indoors was on a clay court," said Laurendeau. "Given a choice, I think the Italians would play on clay.

"We hope the surface plays to our advantage."

Italy will counter with world No. 19 Andreas Seppi, current No. 2 doubles team Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini as well as No. 59 Paolo Lorenzi. Fognini is also a highly ranked singles player at No. 36.

The Italians beat Croatia in the first round.

Canada, which reached the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time, has moved up to eighth in the International Tennis Federation rankings while Italy is ninth.

The only surprise on Laurendeau's team was that Ottawa native Jesse Levine, who recently switched from U.S. to Canadian nationality, was not on it. At No. 97, he is the only Canadian besides Roanic in the top 100.

Levine will be in Vancouver as an alternate, along with Filip Peliwo and Adil Shamasdin.

"We prepare five guys to play," Laurendeau said. "Jesse's part of our five guys. …

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