Newmarket resident Brian Draxl has watched his son, Liam, continue to climb the ranks of professional tennis.
The 22-year-old star is currently ranked 291 in the Association of Tennis Professionals.
Now, Draxl is getting a chance to watch his son compete for his country as part of the Canadian team in the prestigious Davis Cup tournament.
“It’s incredibly gratifying. Really, it is a culmination of years of hard work,” Brian Draxl said. “It’s a long journey getting to any high level, at the pinnacle of any sport you play. Getting asked to represent your country is one of the great honours in the sport.”
Tennis Canada named Liam Draxl to its team for a Davis Cup tie qualifier at the end of January. Alongside the likes of Canadian tennis stars like Milos Raonic, Draxl will compete against South Korea this weekend. The two countries are playing off in a tie to qualify for the Davis Cup finals, an international team tournament where players across the globe vie for their country to be considered world tennis champions.
The event is running in Montreal Feb. 2 and 3. Draxl was kept off the court Feb. 2, but could have a chance to play in the qualifier tomorrow.
The elder Draxl said it has been a great week for his son, with the chance to participate in a training camp leading up to matches.
“It’s been a great environment, really good,” he said. “We're all just looking forward to the opportunity to represent Canada.”
Support has been apparent locally as Draxl takes another step up in the professional tennis world.
“Congratulations Liam Draxl, this is SO well deserved,” the Newmarket Community Tennis Club said on Facebook. “Your Newmarket Community Tennis Club family will be cheering you and Team Canada on!”
“The community has always been resoundingly supportive of Liam and his tennis. So many of the members have known Liam since he was very young,” Draxl said. “A lot of gratitude has come our way from many different people in Newmarket.”
Games will get underway starting at 4 p.m. Feb. 2 and 2 p.m. Feb 3. Matches will be available and streamed for free on cbcsports.ca, CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app.
The elder Draxl said Canada should have a good chance with the home-court advantage and the better team on paper, but you cannot underestimate any country.
“Every country has a few really good players, so you have to expect any match to be really difficult and potentially go the distance,” he said