MONTREAL — Canada will be short-handed for a Davis Cup qualifier in Slovakia next month.
Milos Raonic is not on the list of players to represent Canada in the clay-court tie Feb. 1-2. The Thornhill, Ont., product is No. 17 in the world and was scheduled to play in an Australian Open quarterfinal on Wednesday.
Canada, ranked 17th in Davis Cup rankings, also will be missing top doubles player Vasek Pospisil, who underwent back surgery last week.
Denis Shapovalov, ranked 27th, will lead the Canadian squad. The Richmond Hill, Ont., player will be joined by Montreal teen Felix Auger-Aliassime, Thornhill veteran Peter Polansky and captain Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., who will serve as Canada's fourth player.
Martin Klizan, ranked 40th, leads 29th-ranked Slovakia. Filip Horansky, Nobert Gombos, Igor Zelenay and Filip Polasek also are on the team.
The winner of the qualifier advances to the Davis Cup finals in November in Madrid, part of a new format for the event.
"We have been part of the World Group since 2012, but we want to show that we are a country that can aspire to win Davis Cup in the near future. Obviously, the first important step towards that goal is to qualify for the finals in Madrid and we know that Slovakia will be a tough opponent with us also playing on the road and on clay," Dancevic said in a statement.
"Our team is young, but the players are motivated to represent their country and are looking forward to competing. We will be focusing on our preparation over the next few days."
The Canadian Press