VANCOUVER - Tennis Canada is going with the same team that got them there in the first place.
Heading into the country's first ever Davis Cup quarterfinal appearance less than two weeks from now, Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau officially announced Tuesday the four players that will compete against Italy at the University of B.C.
Milos Raonic, of Thornhill, Ont., leads the way on a squad that includes Frank Dancevic, of Niagara Falls, Ont., Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil.
As the top-ranked singles player chosen for the April 5 to 7 event, Raonic — at No. 16 in the world — will again play an instrumental role for Canada. He won both his matches in an upset over injury-depleted Spain in February — an event also hosted at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver.
But this time, the stakes are higher.
The winner of the best-of-five series will move on to the semifinals in September against either the United States or Serbia while the loser will be eliminated from the 2013 competition.
Also announced Tuesday, the Italian Tennis Federation counters with a formidable squad, selecting world No. 19 Andreas Seppi, No. 59 Paolo Lorenzi, and the current No. 2 ranked doubles team Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini. The latter is also ranked No. 36 as a singles player.
"Any team that reaches the final eight in Davis Cup competition is going to be a very tough group of players and this is definitely true of Italy," Laurendeau said in a statement. "We have the same group of guys already in Montreal working hard to get ready to play this team and we will continue the preparation in Vancouver next week leading up to the tie. We are still on a high from making history in February and we want to ride that momentum, take advantage of this opportunity and keep this going into the semifinals."
Overall, Canada enters the tie as the higher ranked team at No. 8 while Italy is right behind them at No. 9. This is the first meeting between the two teams.
Of note, Ottawa's Jesse Levin, Vancouver's Filip Peliwo and Toronto's Adil Shamasdin will also be at the tie as part of an extended squad of players.