Dancevic climbing pro tennis ladder, breaks ATP top 100

Frank Dancevic has broken into the top 100 of the Association of Tennis Professionals. The Niagara Falls resident currently sits at the No. 96 perch of the world rankings, thanks to his recent win at the Natrel Challenger in Granby, Quebec.

He is the first Canadian to drop under the ATP’s 100 barrier since Toronto’s Daniel Nestor was ranked No. 90 in January 2000.

The 21-year-old Dancevic is currently the highest ranking Canadian player.

Dancevic, a member of Canada’s Davis Cup team, is preparing for the American Express Rogers Cup at the Rexall Centre (York University campus) in Toronto, August 5 – 13. Dancevic will have his work cut out for him in Toronto. The ATP’s top 50 players, including defending champion and two-time French Open winner, Rafael Nadal, 2004 Rogers Cup titlist and world No. 1 ranked Roger Federer and 2003 tournament winner Andy Roddick, will stand in his path to the title.

Also schedule to compete is three-time Rogers Cup champion Andre Agassi of the U.S. This will mark his final appearance on a Canadian court. When the U.S. Open (August 28 – Sept. 10) concludes at the United States Tennis Association’s National Tennis Centre in New York City, Agassi has said he will retire.

Other names on the Rogers Cups entry list include ATP third-ranked David Nalbandian from Argentina, No. 7 James Blake from the United States, Australian and ninth-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, Top 10 Croatian players Ivan Ljubicic (No. 4) and Mario Ancic (No. 10), as well as 1999 tournament champion Thomas Johansson from Sweden.

This will be the 125th year for the Canadian event making it the third-oldest tennis tournament behind Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

To complete the 64-player draw, eight positions are reserved for qualifiers and four spots are held for wild card entrants at the discretion of Tennis Canada. These entrants will be announced at a later date.

Dancevic is prepping for the Rogers Cup affair by competing in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, DC. It concludes on August 6. Dancevic plays Hyung Taik-Lee (Korea) in the first round today (August 1).

At the Natrel Challenger, Dancevic was impressive in a comeback victory to clinch the championship at Granby. Dancevic breezed through his early rounds of competition before surviving a tough final against Tobias Clemens (Germany), emerging victorious with a 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-3 win in the decisive match. Enroute to the final, Dancevic disposed of No. 6 Simon Stadler (Germany) and No. 8 Noam Okun (Israel).