Belkin ‘always a Canadian’ in Cup action
As the No. 1-ranked clay court player in the United States in the mid-1960s, Mike Belkin was an easy pick for the Davis Cup team heading into a tie with Spain.
There was just one problem.
“They said they’re taking me to Spain to play for the U.S. team. So all of a sudden everybody is objecting. ‘He’s a Canadian. Why are you putting him on the team?’ So they didn’t take me to Spain. That was a setback for me, you understand, because I learned all my tennis down here.”
Canada happily welcomed him to Davis Cup teams time and again. He started with matches against Finland and France in 1966. He would continue playing for his country into 1971 in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Moscow and Mexico City, compiling a Davis Cup record of 14-7 in singles and 3-5 in doubles.
Though he has lived for six decades in Florida, the 72-year-old doesn’t feel like an American.
“Once you’re a Canadian, you’re always a Canadian, you understand?”