Billionaire Larry Ellison To Invest In Plans To Revamp Davis Cup Ahead Of Key Vote - UBITENNIS
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Billionaire Larry Ellison To Invest In Plans To Revamp Davis Cup Ahead Of Key Vote

Will the addition of the American businessman have any impact on the future of the Davis Cup?

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The owner of the BNP Paribas Open has become the latest person to publicly back plans to change the structure of the Davis Cup.

 

Larry Ellison, who has a real time net worth of $59.4bn according to Forbes magazine, is set to become an investor in the project. Later this month a vote will take place on a proposal to turn the Davis Cup into a week-long tournament. Under the plans, 18 teams will play against each other in one location in November. Removing the tradition of home and away ties. It has financial backing from Kosmos, who has pledged to invest $3bn over 25 years. Kosmos is owned by Barcelona F.C. footballer Gerald Pique.

“I am very excited about the new format that the International Tennis Federation and Kosmos have developed for Davis Cup, and am in full support of the plans that have been outlined for this historic competition.” Ellison said in a statement on Monday.
“I readily embrace innovative ideas and opportunities which is why I am not only lending my written support, but will also become an investor in this competition.”

The appointment of the 73-year-old increases the chances of Indian Wells one day holding the Davis Cup. Should the plan get supported, it has been confirmed that the Californian tournament is being considered to host the event in 2021. Even though there is yet to be any confirmation of where the event will be held next year.

“In addition, I am thrilled that the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, one of the premier tennis venues in the world, is being considered to host 18 National teams and their associations, in the new Davis Cup Finals event in 2021.” Ellison commented.

Speaking about the appointment, Pique has said the addition of the American businessman will help with the ‘sustainability and ambition’ of the plan. The International Tennis Federation has recently hit back at criticism that the plan lacks transparency.

“I personally want to publicly welcome Mr. Larry Ellison to this project, being an enormous privilege to us.” The CEO of Kosmos said in a statement.
“The agreement reassures the sustainability and ambition of our engagement together with the ITF and I know it will be welcomed as a positive announcement for the global tennis community.”

Despite the backing of a series of powerful figures in the sport, including the heads of the USTA and All England Club, concerns remain. Last week Tennis Australia launched an attack on the proposal by stating that they will vote against it. Saying that they have been given no ‘clarity’ about the plan. At the same time the president of Tennis Europe, Vladimir Dmitriev, sent a letter to 50 tennis nations. In it he has cast doubts on the benefits of the idea.

“I cannot see the real benefit for European nations or for tennis in general as a result of the deal in the proposed format.” Said Dmitriev.

The ITF AGM meeting, which is where the vote will occur, will take place between August 13-16. The revamp needs to win at least two thirds of the votes in order for it to go ahead.

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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