Controversial delay in Aljaz Bedene’s Davis Cup appeal sparks outrage - UBITENNIS
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Controversial delay in Aljaz Bedene’s Davis Cup appeal sparks outrage

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Aljaz Bedene in action during the 2015 BNP Paribas Masters (image via combo.com)

British No.2 Aljaz Bedene has been informed that his appeal to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) regarding his eligibility to play for the British Davis Cup team has been deferred.

 

The Slovenian-born Brit was expecting to be told if he would be allowed to play for Great Britain as their Davis Cup final against Belgium begins in 10 days. Earlier this year the ITF changed the rules regarding the Davis Cup, which states that a player who has played for one country can’t play for another. Bedene has argued that when he submitted his application, it was prior to the rule being implemented.

Bedene has played for Slovenia in 2009, 2010 and 2011, playing Fabio Fognini in 2010. Despite representing for Slovenia he has been living in the UK since 2008 and formalized his British Citizenship on March 26th this year. Currently he lives with his fiancee Kimalia, who is a Slovenian pop star.

The decision to postpone the case until March next year has triggered a series of criticism. Bedene travelled to the Czech Republic, where he was informed of the outcome. The British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has released a statement expressing their displeasure with the decision as they backed their second highest ranked player.

The Lawn Tennis Association is disappointed with the ITF’s late decision today in Prague to postpone the hearing of our appeal for Aljaz Bedene to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas

Despite the statement from the LTA requesting for the case to be heard before the first round of the Davis Cup. It is being reported that the hearing will not take place until March 20th, two weeks after the first round.

We feel it is important to say that we have complied with the process set forth to us and are working hard to achieve a positive outcome.

It is in everyone’s best interests given how long this process has been ongoing, that a fair hearing does place as soon as possible, ideally before the first round of the Davis Cup in March 2016. That has to be the number one priority going forward. We continue to fully support Aljaz in his bid for a successful appeal.

Following the decision, Bedene posted his opinion on his Twitter account as he thanked people for their support.

British No.1 Andy Murray has also been critical of the management of Bedene’s case. Following his win against David Ferrer at the ATP Finals yesterday, Murray said in his press conference that the appeal has ‘taken such a long time’.

It is currently unclear if the ITF will change the date of the hearing after having a request from the LTA.

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Davis Cup

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.

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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.

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Davis Cup

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.

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MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24: Crowds of peoples during of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 24, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Kosmos Tennis)

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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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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