Canada’s attempts to make the Davis Cup semi-finals this April may have taken a blow after star performer Milos Raonic pulled out of the Miami Masters on Sunday with illness.
Raonic, the central component of Team Canada and leader on the tennis court, was set to face Sam Querrey in Sony Open third round but due to a strep throat withdrew on Sunday morning.
The news will come as a major concern for Davis Cup betting fans, many of who expect Canada to wipe the floor with Italy when the teams meet in less than two weeks.
Having beaten Spain in the previous round 3-2, Canada are on course to equal their best ever Davis Cup finish: a semi-final berth in 1913.
Although Raonic is staying confident he will be fit the for tie, the concern doesn’t lie with whether or not he’ll represent Canada but instead his fitness and levels of preparation on court in Vancouver.
For Davis Cup action takes a lot of time to prepare for and Raonic will be expected to work hard with his team over the next fortnight. He cannot afford seven days of rest to get over a throat infection – in doing so he will jeopardise his performances and that of his team.
It’s a difficult one to call – especially when Raonic, 16th in the world, is 81 places higher than the next Canadian Jesse Levine – but is nevertheless one Team Canada captain Martin Laurendeau may have to take.
pundits believe that if Raonic isn’t fully prepared for the Italy test, he should not play: a move that will sway the Betfair Tennis
odds in Italy’s favour but that could nevertheless still be more beneficial to Canada on the whole.