Davis Cup: France through to the final. Italy wins the doubles but trail 2-1 against Switzerland - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup: France through to the final. Italy wins the doubles but trail 2-1 against Switzerland

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TENNIS DAVIS CUP – The Italian team formed by Fognini and Bolelli fought back from 1-2 down to beat Wawrinka and Chiudinelli in the doubles match with 7-5 3-6 5-7 6-3 6-2 in front of 18500 spectators who packed the Palaexpo in Geneva. The Italian has closed the gap to 1-2 to keep their hopes alive to qualify for the Davis Cup final. In Paris Tsonga and Gasquet beat Stepanek and Berdych to secure the decisive third point for “Les Bleus” who return to the Davis Cup for the first time since 2010. Diego Sampaolo

 

Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli recovered from a 1-2 deficit to take a dramatic win in the semifinal of the Davis Cup in Geneva to the disappointment of the home crowd who was hoping to seal the win and qualify in advance for the final of the 2014 Davis Cup.

Swiss captain Severin Luthi decided to rest Roger Federer who was replaced by his close friend Marco Chiudinelli. It was the third time that Chiudinelli teamed up with Wawrinka in the Davis Cup. In one of these two matches Chiudinelli and Wawrinka lost an epic match at the Palaexpo in Geneva in 2013 against Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol with an incredible 24-22 in the fifth set after 7 hours and 2 minutes setting a record for a doubles match in the Davis Cup)

After losing the first set with 5-7, the Swiss team bounced back by breaking serve for 4-2 in the second set. The home team saved a break-back point chance and sealed the win in the second set with 6-3.

The third set went on serve until the eleventh game when Chiudinelli and Wawrinka got the break to take the 6-5 lead before holding serve to go up 2-1 on sets.

The Swiss team looked in control of the match until Fognini and Bolelli broke serve in the sixth game of the fourth set to take the 4-2 lead before sealing the set to force the match to the fifth set.

Chiudinelli and Wawrinka were broken in the third game of the fifth set to trail 1-2. The Italians held serve in the next game and got a second break lead before clinching the fifth set on the third match point.

The home team is still favourite to qualify for their second Davis Cup final as they need one win on Sunday to seal the third point. In the opening match of the reverse rubber matches Federer will take on Fognini. In 1992 a Swiss team featuring Jakob Hlasek and Marc Rosset lost the only previous Davis Cup final for this country against a star-studded US team led by John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and André Agassi.

Tsonga GasquetFrance beat Czech Republic 6-7 6-4 7-6 6-1

Richard Gasquet and Jo Wilfred Tsonga sealed the decisive third point for the French team by beating Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych in a spectacular four- set match with 6-7 6-4 7-6 6-1 after three hours and thirty-five minutes in front of the enthusiastic home crowd who packed the famous Phillippe Chatrier at the Roland Garros in Paris on a sunny afternoon. The French win put an end to the two-year domination of the Czech team who won the last two editions of the Davis Cup

Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, who boasted a proud record of 15 wins in 16 matches in the doubles matches at the Davis Cup before today, trailed 1-4 after going down a break down but they broke back and managed to draw level to 4-4 after France failed to convert three break point chances. The first set came down to the tie-break where Czech Republic rallied from 2-4 down by winning five points in a row to take the first set with 7-4.

Berdych and Stepanek missed seven break point chances between the second and the fourth games in the second set. On the contrary Tsonga and Gasquet converted the only break point chance in the fifth game to draw level on sets with a 6-4 win in the second set.

France got a double break to go up 3-0. The home team was looking to cruise to a easy win in the third set but Czech Republic broke back twice in the fourth game and then in the eighth game to love at 3-4. Czech Republic took the 4-2 lead but France raised the game winning four points in a row for 6-4. The Czech team saved the first set point but Gasquet secure the decisive point with a spectacular backhand pass down the line to seal the win in the tie-break. France broke in the fourth game of the fourth set before saving a break-back point chance to secure an emphatic with with 6-1

France returns to the Davis Cup Final four years after losing 2-3 against Serbia in Belgrade in 2010. It will the 19th final in the history for France with nine wins and nine defeats in the previous final appearances. Their last triumph dates back to 2001 when the French team beat Australian in Melbourne.

If Swiss beats Italy, the final is expected to be held on French soil in Lille at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium indoors on the 21st-23rd November weekend.

Davis Cup

Davis Cup Finals To Be Extended To 11 Days But With Fewer Teams

One of the oldest tennis events in the world will be changed once again.

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The International Tennis Federation has approved a series of changes for the prestigious Davis Cup competition with the option of a multi-city finale on the cards.

 

In a bid to ‘ease the burden on players’ the ITF Board has extended the length of the Davis Cup finals from seven to 11 days. The move comes following the inaugural competition in 2019 when some ties went on until as late as 4am due to the scheduling. As a result of the change, this year’s finale is set to take place between November 25th – December 5th. Meaning that the competition will eat more into the off-season which players use to train for the following year.

Furthermore, from 2022 the number of teams playing in the finals will be reduced from 18 to 16. This year’s field will remain unchanged as the teams have already been decided. Both of these proposals were put forward by Kosmos, who is the main financial backer of the competition.

“We recognise that the most successful tournaments adapt and evolve over time, and while the inaugural Davis Cup Finals delivered fantastic tennis, it also provided some learnings,” tournament director Albert Costa said in a statement.
“We are committed to a long-term vision for this historic competition and are confident these adjustments will enhance the experience for players and fans.”

Discussions are also underway over the possibility of making the end-of-season team showdown a multi-city event. Kosmos wants to expand the number of hosts from one to three. Although details about how this will be done have not been disclosed and the ITF are yet to approve it. Supporters of the idea argue that it will make the event appeal to a wider audience.

“With large stadiums providing show courts for all ties, the introduction of a multi-city event will bring the competition to the widest possible audience, while we will also be able to ease the burden on players with improvements to the scheduling. Crucially, a revised schedule will allow us to avoid late finishes while providing more rest for players,” Costa commented.

Should the multi-city idea get the green light, Madrid will still host both the semi-finals and final of the event. Meanwhile the other two cities would each stage two group stages and one quarter-final. Interestingly Kosmos Tennis has already launched a bid to find cities despite their proposal not being approved yet.

The Davis Cup Finals will return later this year after the 2020 edition was forced to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spain are the reigning champions.

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Viktor Troicki Set For Key Davis Cup Role

The 34-year-old will continue his playing career in 2021 but is also likely to take on a top coaching position in his country.

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Former world No.12 Viktor Troicki is likely to become the new captain of the Serbian Davis Cup team next year, according to various news sources.

 

Kurir newspaper has reported that the 34-year-old is set to take on the role when Nenad Zimonjic’s term as captain expires next year. Troicki is still an active player and is currently ranked 201st in the world following what has been a disappointing season for him. He has only managed to win one main draw match on the ATP Tour this season which was in January at the Pune Open in India.

“I am aware that the time is slowly coming when I am finishing my professional career. Now my priority is to prepare as well as possible for the new season,” Troicki recently told 24sedam.rs.
“I give myself about five or six months to see how I would feel, but also what results I would achieve. My plans also depend on that a lot. If it goes well, that’s great, but if I see that it’s not going and I’m struggling, I think that I will most likely stop playing actively.”

At the height of his career, Troicki was ranked 12th in the world rankings back in 2011. He has won three ATP titles with two of those occurring in Australia at the Sydney International in 2015 and 2016. He also won the 2010 Kremlin Cup in Moscow. In the Davis Cup he has played in 24 ties, including the 2010 final where Serbia won the team competition for the first time in history. Overall, he has won 24 out of 40 matches played at the event.

There has been no official confirmation yet of Troicki’s appointment but he has previously stated that he hopes to stay working in the sport after retiring. Should he take the role as captain, his term is set to continue until after the 2024 Olympic Games.

“As for my future plans, of course I will stay in tennis. I have been in it all my life and I think that I will give the most in where I am the best,” he said.
“I have some plans, but I don’t want to talk about them yet. Slowly, all in good time. My focus is on the beginning of preparations, and to do them as well as possible.”

Whilst he is staying coy about his future plans, another player has already praised his appointment as coach. During a recent TV interview on Nova S Filip Krajinović hinted that the appointment is already a done deal.

First of all, we are friends, Ziki (Zimonjic) did an amazing job, Viktor is now the coach, we all supported him and we can’t wait to play for the national team again. We couldn’t play this year because of this situation, I hope there will be opportunities,” Krajinović commented.

The first glimpse of Troicki as a coach could occur earlier than Serbia’s next Davis Cup tie. Blic has reported that should the ATP Cup go ahead, he could be their team captain. Although this has not been confirmed.

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Davis Cup

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.

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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.




 

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