Canada has landed in the world elite of tennis and Victoria could be along for the heady ride.
Making the [Davis Cup] World Group two years in a row shows Canada is a bona-fide
top-16 nation and this isnt a fluke, said Robert Bettauer of Victoria, the tennis colour analyst for Rogers Sportsnet who called the weekend qualifying victory over South Africa in Montreal that propelled Canada into the World Group for 2013.
What weve seen is a transfer of leadership from Daniel Nestor to Milos Raonic, added Bettauer, three-time Canadian champion and a former Davis Cup player who coached Canada at the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.
I believe Raonic will be a top-10 world player and that puts Canada on another level. And behind him the depth is building in the country. Canada is No. 12 in the Davis Cup rankings and I think we will have the chance in the years ahead to slip into a quarter-final or even semifinal if the draw worked out.
These are exciting times for tennis in Canada and Bettauer believes the Island can be a part of it. As CEO of the Victoria-based Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, hes ideally positioned to make that happen as one of the most influential sports administrators in B.C.
It doesnt hurt that Im here, he concurred.
The first 2013 World Group ties are Feb. 1-3 with sites to be determined. If Canada is drawn to host, Bettauer believes the West Coast is due.
I personally believe Victoria should be part of the discussion, if not for February then for future World Group ties, because it is a world-class city, Bettauer said.
Victoria has a tremendous tennis community, a tremendous sporting community and sporting reputation in general and a great venue in Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, that I believe we would sell-out for a World Group tie.
The Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League happen to be out of town during the Feb. 1-3 period.
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