It's crunch time for Canada's men's tennis team. After losing already in the Davis Cup tournament—basically the Stanley Cup or men's World Cup of professional tennis—the Canucks face relegation from the Davis cool kids' club if they lose their next match-up. And that's happening in Halifax in a couple weeks.
Earlier this year, Canada faced off against France in Guadeloupe, the European country's tropical colony. (The photo above is Canadian Philip Bester in action there.) While the home team gets to pick where their Davis matches (or "ties" in Davis-speak) take place, the French had never before gone to such a far-flung outpost. The New York Times speculated they planned such a field trip "to play outdoors on slow red clay, the better to stymie Milos Raonic, Canada’s best player."
If the Times is right, the tactic was maybe unnecessary—an injured Raonic didn't play—although hard to question, as France went on to trounce Canada five-zero to easily win the tie. Which totally sounds like an oxymoron. Anyway, their win leaves France in the running for the ultimate prize, the Davis Cup, umm, cup. And Canada's loss means if they don't win against Chile, Canada will be kicked out of the "World Group" in 2017, stuck on the wrong side of the glass with other total loser countries in the Davis Cup minor leagues.
Canada's team is reported by tenniscanada.com to be ranked 12th in the world while Chile is 23rd, and the match will undoubtedly feature some nail-biting due to the high stakes (and the fact that Chile is on a six-tie hot streak). Canada is confident enough to host it in awesome Halifax instead of some random outpost like Mississauga or Thunder Bay. Although perhaps playing in a hockey arena is our version of the local conditions the Chileans won't be used to.
Want to get up close to the action? Grab your tickets (ranging from $15 to $70) and head to the Scotiabank Centre from September 16-18.