The Davis Cup draw for 2013 has been made and Milos Raonic and Team Canada got their wish: the tie will be played here in Canada.
The tough part is that they will face the best team in the world, Spain, who made the finals every year (except for 2010) since 2008, and won it every time they did in that period. Of course, we don’t know if they will be reigning champions when they come or not, as this year’s final will be played in two months, in Czech Republic.
With or without Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, we can be sure of one thing: it will be very tough for Canada to win its first ever World Group tie, even at home and, likely, on hard court.
Even if the team’s two best players decide to opt out of the first round, Spain has such depth that they will remain an enormous challenge for Team Canada. Of course, most of the Spanish players are less comfortable on indoor hard courts, but they always seem to find an extra gear when the Davis Cup comes.
My guess is that Nadal will opt out for sure, especially since the tie is mere days after the end of the Australian Open. We will see for David Ferrer, but if he doesn’t make it, there are still pretty good players, like Nicolás Almagro, Feliciano López (pretty comfortable on hard courts), and Marcel Granollers who can play singles, and who knows if Fernando Verdasco won’t change his mind and want to play next year.
As for Canada, I don’t think there will be much change from the team we saw in Montreal last weekend, unless there are injuries, which I sincerely hope there won’t be: Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Daniel Nestor, and either Frank Dancevic or Peter Polansky as the fourth man.
If Canada wins, they would face the winner of Italy and Croatia in quarter-finals, both ties decided by draw for the choice of ground, as Canada has never faced either of those countries.
We don’t know yet, of course, where the tie will be held, but my guess is that it will be played in the West, because it’s closer from Australia.
2013 ties for the first round
In the order of the draw, the first round ties for 2013 will be the following (host nations first):
- Canada vs Spain
- Italy vs Croatia
- Belgium vs Serbia
- USA vs Brazil
- France vs Israel
- Argentina vs Germany (for the second consecutive year, this year it was in Bamberg, Germany)
- Kazakhstan vs Austria
- Switzerland vs Czech Republic
There will be a lot of interesting ties to follow, that’s for sure!
The first round of the Davis Cup 2013 will be held February 1-3, but I don’t think we will know the location of each tie until after this year’s final.