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'Interesting': Local tennis star represents Canada on the top stage

'Interesting': Local tennis star represents Canada on the top stage

Liam Draxel's father says playing for Team Canada in Davis Cup qualifiers is 'culmination of years of hard work'

Newmarket resident Brian Draxel has watched his son Liam continue to rise through the professional tennis ranks.

The 22-year-old star is currently ranked 291st on the Association of Tennis Professionals.

Now, Draxel is getting the chance to watch his son compete for his country as part of the Canadian team in the prestigious Davis Cup tournament.

“It's incredibly fun. It's really the culmination of years of hard work,” Brian Draxel said. “It's a long journey to get to any high level, to the top of any sport you play. Being asked to represent your country is one of the greatest honors in this sport.

Tennis Canada has named Liam Draxel to its squad for a Davis Cup qualifying match at the end of January. Alongside Canadian tennis stars like Milos Raonic, Draxel will compete against South Korea this weekend. The two countries compete in a match to qualify for the Davis Cup Finals, an international team tournament in which players from all over the world compete for their country to be considered world champions in tennis.

The event will take place in Montreal on February 2nd and 3rd. Draxel was sidelined on February 2, but may have a chance to play in the playoffs tomorrow.

The elder Draxel said it's been a great week for his son, with the opportunity to participate in training camp leading up to the games.

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“It was a really nice, good environment,” he said. “We are all looking forward to the opportunity to represent Canada.”

The support has been evident locally as Draxl takes another step into the world of professional tennis.

Newmarket Community Tennis Club said on Facebook: “Congratulations Liam Draxel, this is very well deserved.” “The Newmarket Community Tennis Club family will be rooting for you and Team Canada!”

“The community has always been amazingly supportive of Liam and his tennis players. A lot of members have known Liam since he was very young,” Draxel said. “We’ve had a lot of gratitude come to us from so many different people in Newmarket.”

Matches will start from 4pm on February 2nd and 2pm on February 3rd. The matches will be available and streamed for free on cbcsports.caAnd CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app.

Canada should have a good chance with home-field advantage and the better team on paper, but you can't underestimate any country, the elder Draxel said.

“Each country has a few really good players, so you have to expect any match to be very difficult and potentially a long shot,” he said.

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