Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, returns a shot to Pablo Carreno Busta, of Spain, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, in New York. Shapovalov headlines Canada’s team for next week’s Davis Cup tie against India. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Julie Jacobson

Teen phenom Shapovalov headlines Canada’s Davis Cup roster for India tie

TORONTO — As far as learning experiences go, Denis Shapovalov endured a doozy the last time he was on court for Canada in Davis Cup play.

The rising tennis star fired a ball in frustration that struck the chair umpire in the face and resulted in a match disqualification last February. Britain advanced with the victory while Canada fell into a qualification playoff.

The 18-year-old Shapovalov will soon get a chance to atone for his actions. He’ll headline a lineup tasked with keeping Canada in the elite World Group for 2018 in next week’s tie against India at Edmonton’s Northlands Coliseum.

“For him, that February incident is very far behind him,” Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau told a conference call Tuesday. “He’s had a lot of pressure situations since and he’s shown how he’s improved and how he can manage his emotions through the ups and downs of a match.

“He’s been doing that ever since.”

Shapovalov will be joined by Davis Cup veterans Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver and Toronto’s Daniel Nestor along with first-time nominee Brayden Schnur, also from Toronto. World No. 11 Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., was not available for selection due to a wrist injury.

India previously announced that its roster would include world No. 158 Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan (No. 155), Saketh Myneni (No. 490) and Rohan Bopanna (No. 17 in doubles). The visitors are looking for promotion after spending the last six years at the zone group level.

India defeated Uzbekistan 4-1 in the Asia/Oceania Group I second round last April. Canada, which dropped a 3-2 decision to Britain after the Shapovalov DQ in Ottawa, has played in the 16-team World Group since 2012.

Canada currently holds the No. 16 position in the Davis Cup rankings, two spots ahead of India. This will be their first meeting in Davis Cup competition.

Shapovalov currently holds the No. 69 position on the ATP Tour’s singles rankings. Pospisil is ranked 78th, Schnur holds the No. 192 spot and Nestor is ranked 42nd in doubles.

Shapovalov enjoyed a strong run of form at lower-level events this season but truly emerged last month with a breakout performance at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. He upset current world No. 1 Rafael Nadal en route to his first semifinal appearance at a Masters 1000 level tournament.

The lanky left-hander from Richmond Hill, Ont., followed that up with an impressive showing at the U.S. Open. He advanced through the qualifiers and knocked off 12th-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before eventually losing in the fourth round.

“Really he has an opportunity now to carry that (momentum) into the Davis Cup,” Laurendeau said.

Shapovalov, who will be making his third career Davis Cup appearance, was fined $7,000 by the International Tennis Federation for his actions at TD Place. Umpire Arnaud Gabas suffered a fractured bone under his left eye and needed surgery to repair it.

Shapovalov apologized and has said he learned about controlling his emotions from the incident.

“I think he’s shown that he turned that experience into a very positive one,” Laurendeau said. “He’s the first one to mention how it’s made him a better player and a better person. He’s moved on pretty convincingly from that experience and turned it into a positive.

“He has another chance now to go out and play for his country.”

The draw is scheduled for Sept. 14, a day before the first pair of singles matches. The doubles match is set for Sept. 16 and the two remaining singles matches will be played Sept. 17.

Pospisil, 27, has a 16-14 career mark in Davis Cup action while Nestor, 45, holds the Canadian Davis Cup record with 47 career victories. Schnur, 22, a three-time all-American at the University of North Carolina, picked up two ITF Pro Circuit titles this year in his first pro season.

The loser of the tie will fall into Group I of the regional zones, one step below the top tier.

Just Posted

St. Patrick’s school modernization could include asbestos removal

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools have told staff, students and parents connected… Continue reading

Campaign renews push to make Bighorn Backcountry a wildland provincial park, ATV groups unhappy

A push to provide provincial protection for the Bighorn Backcountry area has… Continue reading

Providing more services while keeping taxes low is Blackfalds’ dilemma

Town has undergone years of above-average growth

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Flu cases steadily climb in Central Alberta

So far the number of Central Albertans admitted to hospital with the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Update: Innisfail girl found

A 15-year-old missing Innisfail girl has been located safe and sound. Police… Continue reading

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million, auditor general says

The federal government’s chronic salary struggles will take more time and more… Continue reading

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train makes stops in Central Alberta

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month