Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Davis Cup prospects look dim for city

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TENNIS fans hoping to see Davis Cup action at the MTS Centre this year shouldn't get their hopes up.

Tennis Manitoba and True North Sports & Entertainment made an unsuccessful bid to host the round of 16 matches against Spain, which was held in Vancouver last weekend.

By virtue of the team's 3-2 victory over the top-ranked Spaniards, Canada will host Italy from April 5-7.

Unfortunately, when Milos Raonic could be unleashing his lightning-fast serve on the Friday, Bon Jovi will take to the stage at the MTS Centre. The next evening, when the doubles match would be played, the Jets will host the Philadelphia Flyers.

So, no bid for the quarter-finals will be forthcoming from Winnipeg.

Mark Arndt, executive director of Tennis Manitoba, said if Canada makes it to the semi-finals, where it would play either the U.S. or Serbia, the team would be on the road. And if it made its first-ever run to the final, it's a coin flip whether the tie would be played in Canada.

"The chances of Davis Cup tennis happening in Manitoba (this year) is very slim at this point," Arndt said.

However, there's a good chance Canada could host one or more matches next year and there's a good likelihood a Winnipeg bid will be made, depending on the availability of the MTS Centre, he said.

The man who books events into the building, Kevin Donnelly, will be ready should the opportunity arise. He spent last weekend in Vancouver taking in the tennis.

He said he wants to regroup with Tennis Canada, with which he said he has a "great" rapport, and see what the future might hold. That could include a high-profile exhibition match.

 

-- Geoff Kirbyson

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 6, 2013 A5

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