More pressure has been added to Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil for the upcoming Davis Cup men’s tennis championships in Spain.
Tennis Canada confirmed on Sunday that Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will not be joining Team Canada for the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals on Nov. 25. They will be replaced by Steven Diez.
Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov, Canada’s top two rated men’s singles players, withdrew to rest nagging injuries and due to fatigue.
“We know that Félix and Denis have always made the Davis Cup one of their top priorities since the beginning of their professional careers, and even before that since they had won the Junior Davis Cup for Canada in 2015,” commented Frank Dancevic, Team Canada captain. “But it’s been a long and even more trying season due to the protocols and measures put in place to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and we completely understand their decision.”
This change in the lineup means Canada’s Davis Cup team for the finals will now be represented by Pospisil, Brayden Schnur, Peter Polansky, and Diez.
The 31-year-old Pospisil will be representing Canada for the 21st time and holds a 12-11 record in singles and a 10-8 record in doubles. His clutch performances in both disciplines saw him help propel Canada past Italy, the United States, Australia and Russia en route to the 2019 Davis Cup final (lost to Spain, Pospisil did not play). He is currently ranked No. 85 on the ATP Tour.
Diez, 30, will make his second Davis Cup appearance for the Canadian team presented by Sobeys. His first nomination dates back to 2010 when Canada lost their Group I semi-final tie to Colombia. Currently ranked 259th in the ATP rankings, Diez managed to climb his way to No. 134 in November 2019
The Davis Cup competition will take place from Nov. 25 to Dec. 5. The early rounds will be played in three cities, Madrid (Spain), Innsbruck (Austria) and Turin (Italy). Team Canada will contest their Finals in Madrid and will start their competition against Sweden on Nov. 25, and then will face Kazakhstan on Nov. 28.