Frank Dancevic (Canada's Davis Cup captain) achieved a career-high singles world ranking of No.65 and reached two ATP singles finals during his career - in Indianapolis and Eastbourne. The 34-year-old notched up 18 Davis Cup wins for his country.
How important was it for Canadian tennis to make sure you were in Madrid?
It’s really big for us and we’re really excited to be at the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, especially with everything that’s changed in the Davis Cup with the new format. And especially with the strong team we have, we’re looking forward to hopefully doing some damage.
Tell us about the team - you have some of the most exciting young players in the world...
I know, we have these young guys that have only been on tour for a year-and-a-half or so and they’re already around the top 20 in the world and they’re extremely passionate about playing for Canada. We also have veterans on the team like Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic who have been there for a long time so it’s a good mix of young guys who are extremely enthusiastic and older guys who’ve been on the team a long time and who are used to playing in pressure situations.
Seeing what Felix has achieved this year, do you think his win in the fifth rubber against Slovakia in Bratislava in February and the experience of that weekend overall played a part in his success since that tie?
Absolutely, I think that was a big turning point in his career really. He wasn’t ranked in the top 100 before that tie and winning that fifth match and getting confidence and going into the clay court tournaments [in South America] did huge things for him. He started playing really well after that, making finals of ATP events and shooting up in the rankings and within three months he was already in the top 40 in the world. I saw it ‘hands on’ - I was on court with him and I saw what it did to him and it was quite an amazing win for us to make it into the Finals.
"There are no easy matches when it comes to the Finals. I’m very happy with my team and I don’t mind who we’re playing. We know how strong we are and how well we can play"
How often do you talk to the guys and get together as a squad? Is it possible through the year? Is this week at the Rogers Cup in Montreal important in your role?
It’s a great week here in Canada. Everybody is playing here so we interact with one another, we practise together, hang out together, have lunches and dinners together. We try to bond as a team throughout the year though, not just the one week in Canada.
How do you see your group in Madrid along with the USA and Italy and what are your expectations?
There are no easy matches when it comes to the Finals. I’m very happy with my team and I don’t mind who we’re playing - it’s irrelevant who we’re playing in the draw. We know how strong we are and how well we can play so that’s what we have to focus on. We focus on ourselves and what we have to do to prepare the best and to win matches.
What would you say to fans thinking of making the trip to Madrid in November?
Everybody has to come, as many people as possible, as many Canadians as possible! I think many have already booked their flights and hotels and are ready to go so I think we’re going to get incredible support there and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it’s going to turn out.
In November, join them at the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals! Get your tickets here