Vancouver is preparing to host another round of the Davis Cup Feb 1-3, 2013. This may or may not be the biggest challenge Canada has ever faced. So, why the fence-sitting? Rafael Nadal could be there, but signs are pointing he won’t be. He’s already pulled out of the first Major of the year and with Spain heading to Canada shortly after the Australian Open, it’s unlikely he will be taking part. David Ferrer is also an unknown and his absence could be an even bigger loss than Nadal’s. In 2012, Ferrer was a perfect 6-0 in Davis Cup singles matches and gave his country a chance in the finals against the eventual winners, the Czech Republic. Right there, Spain’s main one-two punch is gone.
Where does this leave Canada? The red and white are likely to be made up of Milos Raonic, Daniel Nestor, Vasek Pospisil and junior phenom Filip Peliwo. Jesse Levine recently decided to play for Canada, but likely won’t be eligible for Davis Cup action just yet. Even so, that’s a solid Canadian line-up. The heavy lifting will be done by Raonic in singles and Nestor/Pospisil in doubles. Peliwo may not see the court, but being part of the official roster will do wonders for this talented young man. He was already on hand last fall when Canada retained their World Group spot by winning their tie over South Africa. In fact, he was initiated on court when he was forced to do Gangnam Style to the delight of the Montreal crowd and laughter of his teammates.
I believe, baring any injuries, that will be the roster submitted by Tennis Canada. It’s due 10 days before the start of the tie and certainly anything can happen from now until then. Without Nadal and Ferrer, Spain will likely send Nicolas Almagro, Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers. That leaves a spot open with Juan Carlos Ferrero retiring in 2012.
Canada and Spain have only met once in the Davis Cup. That was back in 1991 and the Spaniards came out on top 4-1.