Shapovalov leads Canadian challenge vs India in Davis Play-Off
New Delhi: Canada on Tuesday named rising star and world number 69 Denis Shapovalov in its squad to take on India in the upcoming Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie, scheduled in Edmonton from September 15.
The 18-year-old Shapovalov is in red-hot form as he scalped French star Jo-Wilfred Tsonga en route the US Open fourth round before losing to Pablo Carre o Busta in the pre- quarter-finals.
The other members of the team are Vasek Pospisil (78), Brayden Schnur (192) and seasoned Daniel Nestor (42 in doubles).
There is no Milos Raonic since the world number 11 is injured and has already skipped the last Grand Slam of the season due to a wrist injury.
Despite the top Canadian star missing the tie, India has a task at hand since contending with a player of Shapovalov's calibre and that too in his own backyard will be a tough test.
India has named Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Saketh Myneni and Rohan Bopanna in its squad for the tie — the winner of which qualify for the elite 16-nation World Group.
None of the Indian players featured in the US Open singles with Bhambri and Ramkumar failing to clear the Qualifying rounds. However, Bhambri and Ramanathan, to their credit, have created ripples in international tennis recently. Bhambri had knocked out world number 22 Gael Monfils from the Citi Open while Ramkumar had scalped world number 8, Dominic Thiem at Antalya Open.
India has consistently reached the World Group Play-off stage in the last three years under former captain Anand Amritraj but could not cross the hurdle.
The Indian team lost to tennis power houses Serbia (2014 in Bangalore), Czech Republic (2015 in New Delhi) and Rafael Nadal-led Spain last year in the national capital.