‘The Most Stupid Decision In Sporting History’ - Jan Kodes Slams Davis Cup Reform Plans - UBITENNIS
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‘The Most Stupid Decision In Sporting History’ – Jan Kodes Slams Davis Cup Reform Plans

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Jan Kodes (zimbio.com)

Three-time grand slam champion Jan Kodes has severely criticised plans to reform the Davis Cup in a statement sent to Ubitennis and other media figures.

 

Last week the International Tennis Federation revelled their proposal for a world cup of tennis. The 18-team tournament would take place over a week at a yet to be confirmed location. It has received financial backing by Kosmos, an investment firm founded by footballer Gerard Pique. The company has pledged to invest $3bn over 25 years if it goes ahead.

The announcement has been met with a mixed response. Should it goes ahead, there will no longer be home and away ties. A factor that has lead to the Belgium and French tennis federations both saying that they will vote against it. On the other hand, other figures such as Novak Djokovic has welcomed the attempt to try to revamp the format in order to attract the big names to the tournament.

72-year-old Kodes, who won the 1973 Wimbledon Championships, has drawn parallels between the idea and a defunct tournament. In the past Germany has hosted a team event called the ‘World Team Cup’ before it was cancelled in 2012. The Czech has labelled the potential passing of the plan as ‘the most stupid mistake in sporting history.’

“If the new Davis Cup format will be confirmed at the ITF general meeting this year, that could be the most stupid decision in sporting history.” Kodes wrote in an email sent to Ubitennis.
“A one-week World Cup supported by the ATP was played for several years in Rochus Club, Dusseldorf with no success and was later cancelled.”

Kodes is regarded as an icon in Davis Cup history. Playing more ties and winning more matches than any other Czech player in the competition. Over a 14-year period he featured in 39 ties, winning 60 out of 94 matches played.

He continued his criticism by describing those who support the possible changes in the Davis Cup as ‘ignorant.’

“All Davis Cup events are mostly packed with home crowds, because they have a very strong national spirit and historically this is the oldest sport competition in the world. To change the name (format)? Why? Only the ignorant could support these kind of changes.” He said.

Supporters argue that playing the event throughout the year is hard for many given how packed the calendar is. There is also the risk of overplaying causing injury. Although Kodes has dismissed this motion. Arguing that it is the surface tournaments are played on that are causing the damage to players health.

“Top guys such as Murray, Djokovic, Raonic, Nadal, Tsonga, Federer, Nishikori, Wawrinka, Monfils and more guys are struggling with injuries due to the hard surfaces, which soon or later do more and more damage to the game.” He claims.
“This is not a mistake of the Davis Cup format, this is the wrong thinking of the ATP, WTA, ITF officials, managers, TV rights owners and tournament directors.”

The potential world Cup of tennis will be debated at the ITF’s AGM meeting in August before it goes to a vote. A approval of two thirds is required in order for it to go ahead. Should it get approved, the first tournament could occur next year.

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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