TENNIS – Davis Cup 2014. Andrey Golubev and Aleksander Nedovyesov upset 2008 doubles Olympic champions Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(6) to give Kazakhstan the lead in the rubber. The Czech Republic sealed their place in the semifinals after their doubles win that gave them a 3-0 lead over Japan. Diego Sampaolo
Switzerland vs Kazakhstan 1-2
Andrey Golubev and Aleksander Nedovyesov upset 2008 doubles Olympic champions Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in four sets with the scoreline of 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) in front of 16000 Swiss fans who packed the Palexpo in Geneva. in a thrilling match which lasted two hours and 56 minutes. Kazakhstan now leads 2-1 before Sunday’s reverse singles.
Federer and Wawrinka suffered their fourth doubles defeat in the Davis Cup after losing against Australia in 2011 and the USA and the Netherlands in 2012.
The Swiss singles Grand Slam winners broke serve to take a 5-2 lead in the second set but the kazakh team broke back when Wawrinka served for the set at 5-3. Federer saved a break point at 5-5 with his serve. In the tie-break the Asian team got a mini-break on the first point. Kazakhstan clinched a two set lead when Federer sent a half-volley wide
On the verge of defeat Federer and Wawrinka broke serve in the fifth game to take the third set with 6-4 to close the gap to 1-2 on sets. Both teams engaged a thrilling fourth set. The fourth set went on serve until Kazakhstan led 6-5 in the 11th game. Federer trailed 0-30 when he was down 6-5 but he managed to force the tie-break.
The home team held an early mini-break at 3-0 in the tie.break and had a chance to seal the win when they held a set point and force the match to the fifth set but Golubev and Nedovyesov turned around the match and clinched the match on the first match point after 2 hours and 56 minutes
Kazakhstan will be bidding to make history by reaching their first ever Davis Cup semifinal. They will need just a win in Sunday’s reverse matches. Everything will be decided in the reverse matches on Sunday when Federer will face Golubev and Wawrinka will take on Michail Kukushkin in a re-match of a 2010 Davis Cup match won by the player from Kazakhstan. It will not be easy for Federer to win a vital match against Golubev who has become the Kazakh hero after beating Wawrinka on day one. Nedovyesov is playing his first Davis Cup tie as a Kazakh player after representing the Ukrainian team in 2005.
“It feels special. That was my first Davis Cup match for Kazakhstan and I am pretty excited especially to beat 2008 Olympic champions Federer and Wawrinka. I am proud of my country and my team”, said Nedovyesov
Japan vs Czech Republic 0-3
Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol gave two-time defending champions from Czech Republic a 3-0 lead with a clear 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over the Japanese team formed by Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. Czech Republic has qualified for the third consecutive Davis Cup semifinal despite the absence of Tomas Berdych. Japan played without Kei Nishikori who suffered from a groin injury during the Miami quarter final against Roger Federer.
Czech Republic broke serve in the second game of the opening set to take a 2-0 lead. Japan broke straight back before the match went on serve for the rest of first set. Stepanek and Rosol closed out the first set with 6-4 on the fourth set point after a 11-minute tenth game.
Japan broke serve in the third game of the second set to give the home team a 2-1 lead before the Czechs broke back to draw level to 3-3 thanks to a backhand winner by Rosol. The rest of the second set went on serve until the 10th game when the Czech team broke serve to take the second set with 6-4.
The third set went on serve until the 10th game when the Czech broke serve to close out the match with 6-4.
Is Covid-19 Just An Excuse To Axe The 2020 Davis Cup Finals?
The decision to cancel the team event five months before it was set to start may be more complex than what officials are letting on.
On Friday the International Tennis Federation issued a statement to confirm that their two premier tennis team events will not be taking place this year.
The Davis Cup and Fed Cup tournaments have been delayed until 2021 due to the global uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Davis Cup, it is only the 12th time in history a season has ended without a champion being decided since its birth in 1900 and the first since 1945. The teams that have qualified for the week-long finals this year will instead have to wait until November 2021 to battle it out for the title.
“This is a tough decision to have to make, but delivering an international team event on this scale while guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved ultimately poses too great a risk,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement. “It is a complex undertaking and we have made the decision now to provide certainty for players, national associations and fans.”
There are however some questions over why the ITF has made this announcement five months before the start of the tournament. Especially when both the ATP and WTA Tours are set to restart in August. Furthermore Madrid, where this year’s finals were scheduled to take place, will still host their premier combined event at the Caja Magica in September.
“It’s the inconsistencies that I find tedious. Two months before the Davis Cup was meant to be playing we are playing at the same venue in Madrid for the masters. In regards to the crowds there seemed to be a fair bit of social distancing at this event last year,” John Millman wrote on Twitter.
It appears that there could be a more substantial financial reason to postpone the Kosmos-backed event. Investment company Kosmos was founded by Gerard Pique and has pledged millions into the Davis Cup in a deal to help revamp it. French newspaper L’Equipe have quoted sources reporting that the event lost an astonishing 50 million euros in 2019, which was the first year where the new format took place. Furthermore, it has been reported that the decision to scrap November’s event will help save 18 million euros.
Furthermore, one senior figure at Tennis Canada has suggested that Pique had tried to do everything he could to prevent the tournament from taking place. Louis Borfiga, who serves as his country’s Vice President of High Performance, said he believes there has been no meetings with the federations prior to Friday’s announcement.
“While everyone is doing everything possible to try to replay, I have the impression that Piqué did everything to prevent the Davis Cup from taking place this year,” he said in a separate interview with L’Equipe.
“ They (Kosmos leaders) put forward health reasons, I hope they are the right ones. They are going to have the right role. There is nothing we can say about health.”
“When I read the official press release, I am surprised by one thing. It is Piqué who speaks first, and the president of the ITF (David Haggerty) after. That too is shocking.” He added.
Borfiga is not alone in this view. Back in March tennis player Nicola Mahut criticised Pique for not being more optimistic about holding the finals this year. The Spaniard had previously said he was ‘pessimistic’ about having the event without fans.
“The message he sent through his statements is: ” If Madrid is complicated and we cannot do it, well it will be cancelled and he will save some money.” Mahut commented.
According to Diario AS, the Madrid economy will lose in the region of 50 million euros due to the finals not being held. Furthermore, it is estimated that 600 jobs would have been created to support the running of the tournament from start to finish.
Gerard Pique’s Pessimistic Davis Cup Outlook Blasted By French Tennis Star
The football player has been urged to ‘put more energy’ in finding a solution for the event to take place in 2020.
Kosmos founder Gerard Pique has come under fire over his plans for the Davis Cup Finals later this year after recently casting doubt on the event taking place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Pique, whose company helped finance the transformation of the 120-year-old team competition, recently admitted that he was doubtful that the event could go ahead if crowds weren’t allowed to attend. Last year was the first time the new format of the competition took place with 18 teams featuring in a week-long round-robin tournament which was won by host nation Spain.
“I’m a bit pessimistic, to have the Davis Cup with no fans is difficult,” Pique told Movistar.
“There is a lot of uncertainty. We are listening to what the sport’s ministry and the government are telling us about whether we’ll have the ability to have fans.”
All professional tennis tournaments have been suspended since March due to the Pandemic. Officials are hoping to be able to get the sport going again in August ahead of the US Open that is scheduled to take place. Although some have doubts about the chances of the Tour’s starting by then, including world No.43 John Millman.
Amid the ongoing uncertainty, French tennis star Nicolas Mahut has criticized Pique’s bleak outlook for this year’s Davis Cup finale. The 38-year-old has represented his country in 13 ties, including the 2018 final as well as the semifinals in two other years.
“We don’t have a lot of information. But as a player, you can just trust the official statements. And when I hear Pique, I’m extremely disappointed,” Mahut told L’Equipe.
Mahut has called on Pique to explore more options such as potentially relocating the event to another country if it would make it safer for the event to go ahead. Implying that he was his duty to do so after setting ‘to destroy the formula’ of the event. Critics of the revamp have accused Pique of ruining the traditional competition.
“I would like him to put as much energy into saving the Davis Cup that he has set up. That is to say, to find solutions for it to take place in Madrid or elsewhere, as he has set to destroy the formula that had been in place for over a hundred years,” he said,
“The message he sent through his statements, is: ” If Madrid is complicated and we cannot do it, well it cancels and I save some money. ” And it bothers me a lot compared to what has happened for more than a year. We don’t play with this competition. Maybe that suits it.”
Kosmos has signed a $3 billion 25-year deal with the ITF to acquire the rights for the Davis Cup Finals.
Davis Cup Finals In Doubt, Admits Gerard Pique
The Kosmos founder explains why he isn’t too optimistic about the team event going ahead later this year.
The chances of this year’s Davis Cup Finals taking place are still up in the air with one of the key figures involved in the competition openly saying that he is ‘pessimistic’ about its chances.
Football star Gerard Pique is one the driving forces behind the new format following a huge financial investment from his company Kosmos. Signing a 25-year deal with the International Tennis Federation worth in the region of $3 billion. Despite the significant investment, Pique admits that he has low hopes of the event taking place later this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All professional tennis tournaments have been halted since March.
“There is a lot of uncertainty, we try to be aware of what the government says regarding sports and to whether we can put spectators inside the Caja Magica,” Pique said during an interview with Movistar.
“I would say I am a bit pessimistic, because a Davis Cup without fans is difficult.
“I think that nobody at the moment has the certainty that we can put fans in or if it will have to be behind closed doors. As the days go by, I suppose we will have a little more clarity.”
Spain is currently in the process of relaxing some of their lockdown restrictions with tennis players being able to train at local facilities from next week. The country is following a four-stage plan with the hope that their premier La Liga football league will resume next month at some stage.
However, the issue for the Davis Cup is the limited number of fans that would be able to go to the tournament if it takes place. In more advanced stages of the plans, no more than 50 people can attend an indoor venue. Although the number could be increased by November, it will be a stark difference to 2019. Held at the Caja Magica, the total capacity of the premier court is 12,500 people.
Last year’s final saw Spain lift the title for the first time since 2011 after they defeated Canada in the final. The two teams are seeded third and sixth in this year’s draw.
The Davis Cup is scheduled to take place between November 23-29 in Madrid. The ATP, WTA and ITF will not restart their Tour’s until at least July 13th, however, there is speculation that the suspension will be extended in the coming weeks.
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