Frank Dancevic : biography
Frank Russell Dancevic (from Croatian Dančević) (born September 26, 1984) is a Canadian professional tennis player. He first became the country's top singles player, according to ATP rankings, on February 10, 2003, as an eighteen-year old, and remained so from January 30, 2006 until June 20, 2010. He is now Canada No. 5 in singles.
In August 2011, Dancevic became the first men's singles player, in the same calendar year, to enter the main draw of all four grand slam by playing the qualifying competition for each event.
In Davis Cup, Dancevic has a 15 and 15 win-lose record in 19 ties, going 12–15 in singles play and 3–0 in doubles. He debuted in 2002, when he played a dead rubber in each of the early season ties before losing the opening singles match versus Brazil in World Group qualifying.
In 2004, Dancevic was Davis Cup hero as he defeated Flavio Saretta in the deciding rubber that saw Canada join the World Group for 2005. Unfortunately Canada lost to the Netherlands in the first round and Romania in the play-off to be relegated once more to zonal play for 2005.
Dancevic's effort over Voltchkov was not enough to see Canada through to the World Group for 2006 as the Canadians fell 2–3 to Belarus in their September 2005 World Group play-off tie.
In the 2007 Americas Group I semifinals Dancevic lost a close Round 1 match to Ricardo Mello 6–3, 7–6, 3–6, 3–6, 7–9 as Canada lost the tie, played away in Florianópolis, to Brazil, 1–3. He missed 2008 Davis Cup action due to injury and/or lack of fitness, as the team again lost in the Americas Group I semifinal stage.
Dancevic defeated Giovanni Lapentti in straight sets to level Canada at 1 with Ecuador in a 2009 first-round Americas Zone 1 tie played indoors at the Rexall Centre. He lost the fourth rubber to Nicolás Lapentti 3–6, 7–5, 6–4, 6–7, 6–1 despite having two match points in the fourth set tie-break. Canada went on to lose the tie 2–3.
Dancevic was again named to the Davis Cup team, this time for a September, 2010, in a tie versus the Dominican Republic. The winner to stay in the Americas Group 1 for 2011. Canada won the tie 5–0 as Dancevic partnered Daniel Nestor to a victory in the doubles rubber. He also won a dead singles rubber.
In 2011, Dancevic succumbed to World No. 439 Daniel Garza in five sets despite winning the first two sets 6-2, 6-4, and being up an early break in the third. Thankfully for Canada the surging Milos Raonic, who began the year outside the top one hundred and entered this tie World No. 37, won both his singles rubbers and teamed with Vasek Pospisil in doubles. Canada went on, with Dancevic either electing not to play or not being selected, to win promotion to the World Group for 2012.
In 2012 Dancevic returned to the Davis Cup team. He was a late replacement for Raonic in the third day of opening round World Group play versus France, going down to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 4-6, 4-6, 1-6, as Canada lost the tie, 1 match to 4. In September, he was again selected and won a dead rubber over upcoming player Nikala Scholtz as Canada defeated South Africa to remain in the World Group in 2013.
Dancevic played arguably the best match of his career in defeating Marcel Granollers, ranked 132 places ahead of him, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to help Canada shock a Spanish side missing its top players, three rubbers to two. Frank was a late scratch in the quarter-finals versus Italy due to a swollen knee. Canada prevailed once more, 3-1, and will face Serbia, away, in the semi-finals in September.
Professional tour career
The right-handed Dancevic turned pro in 2003 and reached his career high singles ranking in September 2007 at World No. 65. A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, he was the highest ranked men's Canadian singles player since Daniel Nestor, who was ranked World No. 61 in September 1999. (The highest ranking ever achieved by a Canadian is World No. 13, by Milos Raonic in November 2012.) It was Fred Niemeyer whom Dancevic overtook to become, in early 2006, Canada's top-ranked singles player.
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