Rafael Nadal's Absence In Davis Cup "Bothers" Team Mates Admits RFET President - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal’s Absence In Davis Cup “Bothers” Team Mates Admits RFET President

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The current head of the Spanish Tennis Federation has sent out an indirect message to Rafael Nadal, warning that his fellow Davis Cup team mates are “bothered” by his absence in a competition which they feel they already have little incentive to participate in.

 

It is well documented that Spain have enjoyed great success in the Davis Cup in the 21st century, having won the competition five times. It is no secret that Nadal has played a huge part in leading his country to this achievement , being part of the winning team in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011, alongside fellow former top ten players including Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Tommy Robredo.

However, in more recent years the nation has struggled to make an impact, failing to make the semifinals of the competition since 2012. Nadal’s absence from the side has coincided with this slip in performance, which has even seen Spain drop out of the World Group back in September 2014, where they lost away to Brazil 3-1. Their relegation to Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 lasted two years before a 5-0 playoff win over India put them back in the group featuring the top 16 nations prior to the 2017 campaign.

Nadal was not present during his country’s 3-2 victory over Croatia in round one this year and more noticeably did not participate in their recent quarterfinal loss to a Serbian team led by Novak Djokovic. Given the fact that the world number two was out on court representing his country, questions have been asked as to why the 14-time Grand Slam champion was not doing battle against him.

The Spaniard has been highly critical in the past regarding the current Davis Cup format, stating that there are not enough incentives to tempt the best tennis players to compete. Miguel Diaz was appointed as the new president of the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) last year and he shares the Spanish number one’s views on the event, but admits that all the players, including Nadal, should commit to the competition for at least a couple of weeks of the year.

Speaking to the Spanish site AS, Diaz said: “The tie (against Serbia) was caught between the middle between the end of the hard-court season and the start of the clay season. It wasn’t the best week to convince them. Even so, I thought we could count on everyone.”

In the tie against Serbia, Spain were also without their second best player Roberto Bautista Agut, leaving Pablo Carreno Busta, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Marc Lopez and 19-year-old Jaume Munar to lead the line. Munar’s inclusion highlights the lack of depth in the squad and the lack of commitment from the other top Spanish players, baring in mind that he is currently ranked at 245th in the world.

Serbia were comfortable winners in the World Group quarterfinal, sealing victory after just two days, eventually going on to win the tie 4-1. Djokovic opened up with a straight sets win over Ramos-Vinolas, before Viktor Troicki defeated Carreno Busta in straight sets also.  The Serbs took an unassailable lead after winning the doubles rubber, with Troicki and Nenad Zimjonic ousting Carreno Busta and Lopez in a five set thriller 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-0, 4-6, 6-2.

Diaz revealed that Nadal’s absence irritates some of the other top Spanish players, who feel reluctant to fill the void. “When Rafa is not (with us) honestly, there are some players who are bothered that we bring them. Every player has his ego”, added the RFET President.

While those comments can be taken as being an attack on the 14-time Grand Slam champion, Diaz defended and also praised him. He said that his contribution to Spanish tennis means that he is virtually untouchable, given that his success has helped to inspire the next generation and fill the academies.

Recent news regarding Davis Cup reform is likely to come as welcome news to Nadal and fellow top players after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced in March that its Board of Directors have unanimously endorsed plans to play matches over three sets, with the ties lasting two days rather than three. These recommendations will have to be ratified by the ITF’s AGM in Vietnam in August before plans can be finalised, but many believe this is a step in the right direction with regards to preserving the success and the future of the competition.

Davis Cup

(VIDEO) Ubaldo Scanagatta On A Week To Remember For Canada At The Davis Cup

The CEO of Ubitennis also shares his view about the format of the tournament and how he thinks it can be improved.

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MALAGA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 27: Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena on November 27, 2022 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/ Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

Canada has become the 16th nation to win the Davis Cup after producing a clinical performance against Australia in the final on Sunday. Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both eased through their matches in straight sets to claim an historic victory for their country.

 

Watching the matches unfold from the sidelines was Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta who gives his verdict on events that has taken place in Malaga over the past week.

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Davis Cup

Canada Says There Are No Clear Favorite To Win Davis Cup After Reaching Final Four 

After suffering a surprise opening defeat, Canada managed to find their footing to keep its chance of winning their first Davis Cup title alive in Malaga. 

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Image via Kosmos media

This year’s Davis Cup champions will be decided with the help of a ‘little bit of luck and execution,’ according to the captain of the Canadian team. 

 

Canada secured their place in the semi-finals on Thursday by edging their way past Germany 2-1 after battling back from behind. The tie began with a shock loss for Denis Shapovalov who fell 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), to Jan-Lennard Struff who is currently ranked more than 100 places lower than him in the ATP rankings. However, the North American nation managed to level the tie with the help of Felix Auger-Aliassime who beat Oscar Otte 7-6(1), 6-4. 

With all to play for, the tie was decided by a critical doubles match that saw Shapovalov return to the court alongside Vasek Pospisil. Their opponents were the formidable Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puertz who had an 8-0 record in Davis Cup matches when playing together and had clinched the winning point for their team on seven occasions. The German duo started the stronger before Shapovalov and Pospisil battled back to prevail 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Sending Canada into the semi-finals of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2019. 

“Today (Thursday) was a perfect example of Davis Cup at its finest,” said Canadian captain Frank Dancevic. 
“It was amazing to watch. They showed so much heart going into the match. At the beginning of the match, it was tough to find the rhythm. But once they found the rhythm and once they got in the groove, they played lights out. They played amazing. Took control of the match.” He added.

Canada made their Davis Cup debut in 1913 but they are yet to win the title, finishing runners-up on two occasions. The last time they reached the final was three years ago when they were beaten by Spain in Madrid. 

Standing in their way of another place in the final this year is Italy who defeated the USA 2-1 in their quarter-final tie on Thursday. The other section of the draw will see Croatia take on Australia. Canada might be the only team in the quartet yet to win the trophy but Dencevic believes there is no clear favourite in this year’s tournament. 

“I don’t think right now everybody is playing incredible tennis, and there is so much that can happen in three matches with singles and doubles and there is so much diversity that I wouldn’t say there is a favourite team right now.” He said. 
“Out of the four teams, everybody is really good. We have to put ourselves in the position to win. Everybody’s going to be in the position to win. It’s just about who is going to execute at certain moments in the matches, and it will come down to a little bit of luck and a little bit of execution, but I think it’s very even throughout the field. We are all amazing teams going into the semis.”

Canada’s Semi-final clash with Italy will take place on Saturday. Croatia will play Australia later today. 

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ATP

Davis Cup Becomes Part Of ATP Calendar In New Partnership

The ATP and Kosmos have collaborated over the Davis Cup ensuring it’s place on the ATP calendar.

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In Tennis First, ATP Joins Kosmos And ITF To Form Strategic Alliance Supporting Davis Cup.

 

The 122-year-old Davis Cup will officially become part of the ATP calendar from 2023 following a historic agreement between two of the sports principle bodies.

The International Tennis Federation, who are the principal organizers of the team event, has reached an agreement with the competitions financial backers Kosmos and the ATP Tour to form a strategic alliance. The aim of the new partnership is to focus on the governance and the evolution of what is the oldest team competition of the sport.

Under the agreement, the ATP will occupy two out of the six seats of the newly formed Davis Cup events committee which also includes Kosmos, ITF, long term investors and promoters. In a press release issued on Monday, organizers say their collaboration is aimed to ‘maximize the success of the historic team competition as the men’s World Cup of Tennis.’

The Davis Cup will become officially part of the ATP Tour calendar from 2023. It will take place during weeks 5, 37 and 47. Similar to an agreement made with the Laver Cup a couple of years ago, there will be an increase in marketing the event among ATP channels.

The announcement also ensures that they are committed to giving players prize money for the finals, offering 15 million dollars to players competing in the Davis Cup Finals.

Speaking in the announcement ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi, ITF president David Haggerty and Kosmos Tennis CEO all were excited about this new collaboration:

“Our focus is always on creating the best possible experiences for our fans and players. Delivering compelling international team competitions that dovetail with the year-round calendar and continue to innovate is a vital part of that,” Gaudenzi said.

“This announcement heralds an important new alliance between the ITF, Kosmos and ATP which further strengthens the importance of team competition and Davis Cup’s unique role in elite men’s professional tennis,” Haggerty added.

“It is a very important agreement for all three parties and especially for the players. In the last three years, the format of the competition has been improved to reach a greater number of fans, generate a greater impact and facilitate the participation of the best players in the world. We look forward to seeing the event grow even further in the coming years,” Rojas commented.

The Davis Cup recorded it’s highest levels of participation in history last year with 137 teams competing in the competition.

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