Davis Cup: Tennis Canada faces a tough battle in Guadeloupe

Frank Dancevic, Adil Shamasdin, Vasek Pospisil, Philip Bester and team captain, Martin Laurendeau (left to right) will represent Canada against France in the Davis Cup. (Photo: Tennis Canada) 

Canada will go up against tennis powerhouse France, in the World Group first round of the Davis Cup this weekend in Guadeloupe.

The Canadians are the clear underdogs in this matchup, ranked No. 10 in the ITF Davis Cup Nations rankings, while their opponents are seeded No. 5. Tennis Canada’s team of Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic, Philip Bester and Adil Shamasdin will face France’s impressive roster of ATP World Tour top 20 players: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No. 9),Richard Gasquet (10), Gael Monfils (17) and Gilles Simon (19) .

Canada's 2016 Davis Cup team.

Canada’s team of Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic, Philip Bester and Adil Shamasdin (left to right). Photo: Tennis Canada

Canada’s team will feel the loss of its top players Milos Raonic and Daniel Nestor. On Monday, Tennis Canada announced its top singles player, Raonic, World No. 13 would be absent from the tournament due to an injury from the Australian open. Nestor, who holds the Davis Cup record for most wins (47) and is ranked No. 12 in doubles, will also be absent due to a family matter.

Watch: Raonic chats about Rio 2016

The competition will begin on Friday with the first set of singles matches. Davis Cup veteran, Dancevic, World No. 245 will represent Canada in the first match against Monfils. Then, No. 45, Pospisil, who has been a crucial part of Canada’s team since he nearly single-handedly won Canada’s World Group play-off against Israel in 2011, will take on Simon.

Vasek Pospisil in action at Wimbledon in 2013.

Vasek Pospisil in action at Wimbledon in 2013.

The doubles match will take place on Saturday, World No. 16 in doubles Pospisil will team up with Bester to take on Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The tournament will conclude on Sunday, where the singles players will switch opponents for the final ties.

Read: Pospisil wins doubles title in Rotterdam

Canada and France have only faced off twice in Davis Cup history in 1966 and 2012, where the Frenchmen left victorious both times.

The winner of this round will advance to the Davis Cup quarterfinals in July. The losing nation will head to the World Group playoff in September, where it will fight to maintain its top 16 position in the world ranking.