Dudi Sela 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Dudi Sela is crossing his fingers that Canada’s Milos Raonic will not be fit enough to take part in this coming weekend’s World Group playoff tie at Ramat Hasharon after the 20-year-old was named in the Canadian squad despite not playing since the end of June when he suffered a hip injury in the second round of Wimbledon.
After March’s impressive win over Poland in the second round of the Europe/Africa Zone Group I, Israel can regain its place among the world’s top 16 nations with a win over Canada at the Canada Stadium in Ramat Hasharon and Sela knows much will depend on the fitness of Raonic.
“If Raonic will play they are the favorites,” Sela said on Sunday. “Of course I’d rather he didn’t play, but even if he does we believe we can take the three points needed in the other matches.”
The 20-year-old Raonic only broke into the world’s top 200 last October, but he is currently ranked No. 29, reaching the last 16 at the Australian Open in January before winning his first ATP title in San Jose.
“Playing for my country is one of the greatest honors, and this World
Group playoff is a significant moment for tennis in Canada,” said
Raonic, who will try to lead Canada back to the World Group for the
first time since 2004.
However, like Israel, Canada’s squad only really has one world-class
player to offer, with the team’s No. 2 expected to be world No. 143
Canada’s squad also includes Peter Polansky (367) and doubles world No. 5 Daniel Nestor.
Israel’s No. 2 will be Amir Weintraub (210), with Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich to team up in the doubles yet again.
“I think this tie is a huge challenge for us,” Israel captain Eyal Ran said on Sunday.
“Canada is a good team, but our players are also in good form. We have
proven in the past that rankings aren’t that important when it comes to
the Davis Cup and I know that if we leave everything out on court we
will have an excellent chance.”