Belkin ‘al­ways a Cana­dian’ in Cup ac­tion

Regina Leader-Post - - SPORTS -

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?”

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