Frank Dancevic Named Captain of the Canadian Davis Cup Team
Tennis Canada announced on Thursday that Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls) has been named captain of the Canadian Davis Cup team, replacing Martin Laurendeau who has stepped down in order to dedicate his time to coaching Denis Shapovalov.
Dancevic made his Davis Cup debut as a player in 2002. Since then, he has posted a record of 18 wins and 22 loses in 26 appearances with the team. A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario and current resident of La Prairie, Quebec, Dancevic played one of the best matches of his career in the 2013 World Group first round, defeating Spain’s Marcel Granollers, then ranked world No. 34, by a score of 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. It was that year that Canada reached the semifinals, the best result in the nation’s Davis Cup history.
Dancevic will continue his career as a player — he is currently ranked world No. 361 in the ATP rankings, after having reached a career-high ranking of No. 65 in 2007 — and said he was honoured by this opportunity provided to him by Tennis Canada.
“These are definitely big shoes to fill, as Martin has been an outstanding captain for our team. No one will be able to replace him,” stated Dancevic. “It is an honour for me to take on this role as Davis Cup has always been a special and important event for me. I know all the players well, which will be an asset for me moving forward. It is certainly a great challenge, but I have tremendous confidence in this team and I am looking forward to our next tie in February.”
“Frank has played a significant role in the success of the team for almost two decades. He has seen this team evolve over time,” explained Louis Borfiga, vice-president of high performance, Tennis Canada. “The players and Tennis Canada have full confidence in his ability to not only keep this team in the World Group, but to aim even higher in the coming years.”
Laurendeau has been the team captain since 2004, in addition to occupying the role of team coach for 10 years and defending the Canadian flag as a player from 1986 to 1993. Under his leadership, Canada has been present in the World Group since 2012 and reached the Davis Cup semifinals in 2013.
“After 15 years as captain, I have decided to step away from Davis Cup. It has been the highest honour to represent my country in all of the different roles that I have held over the last 34 years,” stated Laurendeau. “Davis Cup is very intense and energy consuming. Combining the captaincy and full-time coaching on the ATP Tour made for a relentlessly busy calendar. Thus, I have decided to step down and provide someone else with the opportunity to lead our Canadian team. Frank is one of Canada's most experienced Davis Cup players, which will certainly serve him well in his new role. I am delighted to hand the torch to a former pupil, especially to one with whom I have shared many memories on the court. I wish all the best to Frank and the team. I will continue to follow Davis Cup very closely!”
“Martin’s professionalism, leadership and integrity have helped this team succeed in recent years. He evolved with the team and was able to adjust according to the challenges that presented themselves,” said Borfiga. “He will be missed, but his contribution to Canadian tennis has not ended.”
Canada’s Davis Cup team will next face Croatia in the World Group first round from February 2-4, 2018.
Infographic: Frank Dancevic’s career.
Comments from the players
“I would like to thank Marty for a tremendous job and for over 20 years of service with the team. You were by far our greatest and most successful captain, leading us to many special wins and numerous World Group appearances. You will definitely be missed, but not forgotten. I would also like to thank you on a personal level for helping me achieve many of my goals. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
“I am looking forward to starting a new chapter with Frank. His memorable wins and gutsy performances, which have inspired all of us on the team many times, make him an excellent choice as captain.”
“Marty was very passionate about Davis Cup and always gave his best as our captain. He will always have a special place with the team. We are sad to see him go, but wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”
“Everyone is extremely excited to have Frank as our new captain. He fits the role perfectly and has tremendous respect, both as a person and as a player, from all the players and staff on the team. He is an ideal choice to lead the Canadian team for years to come.”
“Marty has been a great captain for this team. He led us to the semifinals in 2013 and helped us believe that we could one day win this team competition. There are not many captains who can say they have been in their role for 15 years. He can be proud of that and will be missed”
“We all thought that Frank was a great choice for captain because of his personality and because of his career as a player on the ATP Tour, and especially in Davis Cup. My teammates and I have always been very proud to play for Canada and we will also be proud to play for Frank. I’m looking forward to some great years under his captaincy.”
“I'd like to thank Marty for selecting me to the Davis Cup team when I was 17 years old. His bold decision allowed me to fulfill my dream to represent Canada and his mentorship as the team captain gave me the confidence to compete against the elite players on the ATP Tour. Thank you for your long and distinguished service to our country as the Davis Cup captain.”
“With his experience, there is no doubt that Frank Dancevic will be a great captain. I know he will embrace the role and continue to show his great passion for the game.”
Photo and story courtesy of Tennis Canada.