Davis Cup will remain a yearly competition – ITF President Ricci Bitti confirmed - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup will remain a yearly competition – ITF President Ricci Bitti confirmed

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TENNIS DAVIS CUP – Male Tennis Pros will have to forget about their repeated suggestions that the Davis Cup competition will be played every two years: ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti will have none of that and he has recently confirmed this via ITF-Press release.

 

Male Tennis Pros will have to forget about their repeated suggestions that the Davis Cup competition will be played every two years: ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti will have none of that and he has recently confirmed this via ITF-Press release. Ricci Bitti, who according to ITF sources will soon announce a re-election bid that might lead to him staying in the job until 2019, has other ideas for his sport. He would consider holding the Davis Cup with matches in a best-of-3-sets format, and he would love to do away with second serves altogether.

However Ricci Bitti would further like to make sets shorter so tennis is more TV-friendly, and to stop players from wasting so much time. “We have a little problem in tennis, which is that we don’t respect spectators too much,” the Italian official told dpa in an interview in New York. Also being president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), Ricci Bitti is passionate about tennis and loses patience only slightly when reminded that many professional players say the Davis Cup is obsolete and needs to change.“The biggest criticism of the Davis Cup is without a doubt inspired by people with other interests. If you play every two years, that frees up several weeks that can be used for other business,” he said. With this he might think of much wanted sponsor- and media-representation duties of the top-players that do take away a lot of time indeed.

Ricci Bitti does not agree with any proposal of format change and pointblank refuses even discussing this: “I will not change the annual nature of the Davis Cup, that would make it less important. Another pillar of the Davis Cup is to play ties at home and away: it is the only chance for many countries to watch professional tennis (on site). That is very important,” he stressed and made clear that he favours another option that is being discussed, playing three sets per match as opposed to the traditional five. “That could be, it could be. That is a different issue: we are very reluctant to make fundamental changes, because the Davis Cup is very successful. But whether it is played in a best-of-five or best-of-three format is within the options. I do not rule that out as something we might consider in the future,” he said. An idea that is backed i.e. by Sweden’s Mats Wilander, a former world No 1 and a three-time Davis Cup champion. “That’s not a bad idea,” Wilander told dpa. “I think that would make huge sense for TV. It would make sense for everyone, except you might not necessarily have the right winners, because five sets is different.”

When reminded of player criticism, Ricci Bitti recaptures: “In 2007 we received a letter that had been signed by 17 of the world’s 20 top players. We took their requests into account, we did away with the week off between Grand Slam tournaments and Davis Cup series. Now many say that is a mistake. They changed their minds, they forgot. They also requested points for the rankings, we gave them those. Now there are players who say it is not fair to award points for a team competition, and in a way that makes sense, because they do not all play,” he said.

Changing the rules of tennis is a long process that does not depend exclusively on Ricci Bitti, but the ITF president has a couple of ideas, which are: “I would change two things: I would shorten sets, because attention always peaks at the end of sets. If you shorten sets you will get more attention peaks,” he said. This means that instead of playing matches in a best-of-three-set format with each set winner having to win at least six games, Ricci Bitti would like to have a best-of-five sets format with players winning only four games to win the set. However: “We tried that in 2002, and the ATP agreed, but the players said no,” he said. “The other change is to allow just one serve. Serving is a focus stroke. The first serve is played at high risk. It would be very important to see what players would do with just one.” Later this month the ITF Annual General meeting in Dubai will be held and of course it remains to be seen whether this issues will be further debated and/or decided upon.

Also ITF confirmed the calendar dates for the 2015 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas:

World Group first round: 6-8 March

World Group quarterfinals: 17-19 July

World Group semifinals and play-offs: 18-20 September

World Group Final: 27-29 November

The Davis Cup Committee has also confirmed the following weeks for the 2017-18 competition. Because of the complexity of the tennis calendar in an Olympic year, the 2016 dates are still being discussed.

World Group first round: week after Australian Open

World Group quarterfinals: week after Miami

World Group semifinals and play-offs: week after US Open

World Group Final: week after ATP World Tour Finals

The 2014 Davis Cup World Group finalists France and Switzerland will contest the World Group Final on 21-23 November 2014 in France.

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with 122 nations taking part in 2014. The competition is 114 years old having been founded in 1900. The title sponsor is BNP Paribas, the Official Bank of Davis Cup. International sponsors are Rolex (Official Timekeeper) Adecco (Official HR Sponsor) and NH Hotels (Official Hotel), while Wilson Sporting Goods (Official Ball) is an international partner.

Davis Cup

Spain to face Russia and Ecuador in Davis Cup Finals next November

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The draw of the 2020 Davis Cup Finals in Madrid took place at the ITF offices in London on 12th March. The Davis Cup Finals will begin in Madrid on 23rd November 2020.

 

Defending champions Spain has been drawn in the Group A against Russia and Ecuador. Last year Rafael Nadal guided the Spanish team to the triumph in the final against Canada at the Caja Magica.

This year’s ATP Cup champions Serbia will face Germany and Austria in a Group A, which features three top 10 players Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. Djokovic beat Thiem in this year’s final of the Australian Open.

In the Group E the USA will take on Italy in a re-match of last year’s late round-robin match. These two teams were drawn against Colombia.Last year’s finalists Canada will meet Sweden and Kazakhstan.

Three former Davis Cup champions France, Great Britain and Czech Republic have been drawn in Group C.

 

Croatia will clash against Australia and Hungary in Group D.

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Davis Cup

John Millman Praises ‘Special’ Atmosphere After Australia’s Davis Cup Triumph

John Millman praised the ‘special’ Davis Cup atmosphere in Adelaide after their 3-1 win over Brazil.

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John Millman and Lleyton Hewitt (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

John Millman praised the ‘special’ Davis Cup atmosphere in Adelaide this weekend after Australia booked their spot in the Davis Cup Finals. 

 

As Australia headed into the second day with a 2-0 advantage, many people expected a comfortable 3-0 win for the hosts but that turned out not to be the case.

Marcelo Demoliner and Felipe Meligini Rodrigues Alves gave Brazil hope after an epic 2 hour and 54 minute win over James Duckworth and John Peers.

A 5-7 7-5 7-6(6) victory for the Brazilians saw the tie taken into a fourth rubber as John Millman knew he had to step up to seal victory for the Aussies.

Another sensational match as Millman battled past Thiago Monteiro 6-7(6) 7-6(3) 7-6(3) to secure a thrilling win and Australia’s place in November’s Davis Cup Finals.

After sealing the win, Millman praised the special atmosphere in Adelaide over the two days, “To have an experience like this, that’s better than just about any experience I’ve had,” Millman told Tennis Australia.

“It was something pretty special this weekend. I enjoyed every second of it. It was so much fun. It was an emotional rollercoaster and we’re so happy to get through. To do it with these boys, it’s been a really special week.”

As for captain Lleyton Hewitt, this win typified what he loves about the home and away format that the Davis Cup Qualifiers shows, “There were ebbs and flows in all the matches. It could have gone either way,” Hewitt said.

“That is what Davis Cup is about and that’s why I love the home and away format. To have the atmosphere and the crowd involvement, it was a lot of fun for us to be out there.

“For these guys to play in front of their home fans again, they don’t get to do it throughout the year that often. I’m just thrilled for them that they get to enjoy it and be part of it. It is something really special.”

Next for Hewitt and his Australian team will be the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, where they will join last year’s semi-finalists Spain, Canada, Great Britain and Russia as well as wildcards Serbia and France.

Also qualifying for November’s showpiece were Ecuador and Kazakhstan after their respective wins over Japan and the Netherlands.

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Davis Cup

Kei Nishikori Out Of Davis Cup In Latest Blow To Japan

More bad news for fans of the injury-stricken player.

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Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has hinted that he may not be able to return to the tour until the clay season after withdrawing from his country’s upcoming Davis Cup tie against Ecuador.

 

Nishikori, who is currently ranked 31st in the world, had been in Miki training ahead of his country’s clash in the team competition. Raising hopes that he will be making a return this weekend. However, he has now confirmed that he is not fully at the level he needs to be to play. The 30-year-old hasn’t played a competitive match since September after undergoing surgery on his right elbow.

“Physically I’m not at my max.” AFP news quoted Nishikori as saying on Thursday.
“I want to return to competition after I improve my strength and become fully confident.
“It might be after Miami or during the clay season,” he added.

Japan will now enter their tie without their two top ranked players on the tour. Another notable absentee is world No.48 Yoshihito Nishioka, who has pulled out of the competition over coronavirus concerns. Yesterday the country recorded it’s 1000th infection of the illness, which is also known as Covid-19. The outbreak has affected many public events in Japan, but officials are confident that this year’s Olympic Games will go ahead as planned.

As a result of the outbreak, the Davis Cup clash will take place behind closed doors. The decision was jointly made between the ITF, Japanese Tennis Association and the country’s government. Baseball matches in the country have also been played without a crowd and the football J-League has been postponed.

“I am grateful just to be held while many sports are being cancelled.” Yasutaka Uchiyama told reporters.
“I want to get results firmly for the fans who support me in front of the TV. ”

Uchiyama and Go Soeda will be the two players who are playing singles in the tie against Ecuador instead of Nishikori and Nishioka.

Another Davis Cup tie affected by the Coronavirus is Italy’s home tie with South Korea. The government announced on Wednesday that all sporting fixtures will be played behind closed doors until April 3rd. Italy is the worst affected country in Europe with more than 3000 cases.

During a recent interview with Ubitennis, the ITF has said that are monitoring the threat posed by Covid-19 to their tournaments on a ‘case by case’ basis and are liaising with the relevant authorities. The ITF is the body which runs the Davis Cup.

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